Everyone is Going Virtual!


Everyone is Going Virtual!

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and The Joint Commission (TJC) as well as some other accrediting organizations are going VIRTUAL. So, what does that mean for healthcare organizations?

CMS distributed information through QSO-20-20-ALL, released March 20, 2020, to inform all healthcare facilities, including acute care and continuing care settings about their process to ensure that America’s healthcare facilities are prepared to respond to the threat of COVID-19. Although the focus is slightly different for acute care the principles for infection prevention are universal.

Let’s start with CMS. Focused COVID-19 NURSING HOMES Surveys have begun and include both an offsite (virtual) and onsite survey process. Survey activities have been arranged to reduce the number of surveyors and amount of time spent onsite in facilities.

Examples of Offsite (Virtual) Activities for NURSING HOMES Include:

1. Review of facility-reported information, such as how many COVID-19 cases, reports to CDC, the state and Public health, hospital transfers, complaint allegations

2. Review of key documents:

• Review of Medical Records Review, inclusive of telephone interviews to discuss surveillance activities, and case specific information such as onset of symptoms, and communications to leaders and health officials

• Policy & Procedure Review including the Infection Prevention & Control Plan and the Emergency Preparedness Plan, especially as it relates to staffing needs

3. The survey exit is conducted offsite and the 2567 is drafted offsite.

Examples of Onsite Activities for NURSING HOMES include:

1. Resident Care Observations

• Use of hand hygiene, proper use of Personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning of equipment between patient uses, implementation of transmission-based precautions

2. Observation for adherence to CDC Guidance for Prevention of COVID-19

• Environmental Observations, such as entry signage, signage at resident rooms, screening of staff on entry and shift change, limiting non-essential staff, availability of hand hygiene stations

• Phone interviews with staff (to reduce exposure risks) on knowledge of policies and procedures, surveillance activities for signs and symptoms of disease, notification of local health officials

3. Observation for potential other Immediate Jeopardy (IJ) situations that may be present

How can ACUTE CARE FACILITIES Prepare for VIRTUAL Surveys?

As you think about the new normal, it becomes clear that services that can be provided in a socially distanced manner will be the safest approach during the pandemic and perhaps beyond. How can you prepare for an upcoming survey? Learn from Nursing Homes and be ready to share key documents with surveyors such as your infection prevention plans, policies and procedures, staff competencies. Not certain your plans are up-to date? Thinking your organization may benefit from a mock Virtual Survey?

Contact us to explore ways that we can partner with your organization to ensure you are ready for the new survey model. We are here for you at Info@courtemanche-assocs.com or 704-573-4535.


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