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On July 26, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the availability of public comment for the long-term care facilities (chapter 10) of the National Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs): Roadmap to Elimination (HAI Action Plan).
The new Long-Term Care (LTC) chapter, which focuses on combating HAIs in nursing facilities and skilled nursing facilities, extends earlier efforts that focused on:
HHS is seeking comments from a broad range of stakeholders and requests that all responders self-identify by name and stakeholder 'category,' e.g., caregivers or health system providers; Healthcare, professional, educational organizations.
HHS also stipulates that the submission of written materials should not exceed 10 pages, not including appendices and supplemental documents.
Recommendations for change or amendment should be submitted to LeadingAge (emunley@LeadingAge.org) ASAP, but no later than, Tuesday, August 14.
Comments may be also submitted directly to OHQ@hhs.gov by the OHQ Notice Deadline: August 22, 2012: Attention: Draft Phase 3 Long-Term Care Facilities Module.
The HHS Steering Committee for the Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Infections was established in July 2008 and charged with developing a comprehensive strategy to progress toward the elimination of HAIs.In 2009, the Steering Committee issued the initial version of the National Action Plan to Prevent HAIs: Roadmap to Elimination. The initial strategy (Phase 1) focused on the prevention of infections in the acute care setting.Phase 2, released in 2010, expanded the effort to outpatient facilities (ambulatory surgical centers and endstage renal disease facilities). Phase 2 also addressed strategies to increase influenza vaccination coverage for healthcare personnel.The phase 3 draft module specifically addresses HAI prevention in SNFs/NFs. Similar to Phases 1 & 2, the HAI reduction strategies contained in this module are expected "…to be executed through research and guideline development, implementation of national quality improvement initiatives at the provider level, and creation of payment policies that promote infection control and reduction in healthcare facilities."
Please see the HHS web site for additional information about the HAI Initiative and the HHS Partnership for Patients.