5 Benefits of Hiring an Infection Control Consultant

Infection prevention and control in senior living has always been an important piece of the healthcare system ensuring the well-being of long-term care residents and staff. However, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, infection prevention, and control has become an absolutely critical system to have in place to protect the lives of residents and staff alike.  Over the past few years, guidelines and regulations have constantly changed, which has generated increased infection control citations from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. For centers that receive poor results, the outcome can have significant financial penalties and added stress on top of what has already been one of the most stressful years in modern history for healthcare workers.

So how do you stay informed, revise your processes, and put systems in place to anticipate what’s coming next?

While there are many avenues your organization could take, hiring an Infection Control Consultant offers key insight and guidance for your team. In this article, we explore how an Infection Control Consultant will benefit your residents, your staff, and your organization.


  1. Evaluate Your Facility and Community Risk

First and foremost, the top priority for long-term care centers is the health and well-being of their residents and staff. There are many factors that contribute to the risk of infection inside your organization. The overall health of the community and your building are interconnected and how your team manages both has a major impact. While risk has been somewhat mitigated throughout the worst of the pandemic with visitor restrictions and mask ordinances, the environment is constantly changing as those restrictions are lifted. An Infection Control Consultant will help your organization understand how to properly evaluate your risk as guidance changes and establish the actions needed to keep everyone safe and healthy.


  1. Early Detection Processes

When your senior living facility detects an infectious disease, it is critical that the infection is caught early and that the necessary steps are taken immediately to reduce spread. Having the proper processes in place can sometimes mean the difference between life and death, especially within geriatric and immunocompromised communities. Consulting an Infection Control expert on early detection processes and working to create a plan to manage infectious disease before spread helps your staff know what to do without hesitation.


  1. Prepare for Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Surveys

After the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise that even the most prepared operations may need a little help maintaining compliance. Centers that are not following CMS regulations can face hefty financial penalties, and extensive revisit surveys, which can lead to added stress for healthcare teams. Unfortunately, with so many recent changes to CMS regulations, many buildings are still dealing with penalties associated with their Infection Control practices in 2021. Looking to an Infection Control Consultant will ensure that your organization is up-to-date with the new and ever-changing requirements by conducting a mock survey and focusing on the following items:

  • Evaluating your facility and community risk
  • Establishing surveillance systems
  • Developing systems for preventing, identifying, reporting, investigating, and controlling infections and communicable diseases.
  • Implementing and determining processes for using standard precautions, and transmission-based precautions
  • Establishing effective environmental cleaning and disinfecting
  • Implementing systems for early detection and management of infectious disease before spread
  • Forming processes for admissions and discharges of potentially infectious and symptomatic residents
  • Developing systems on how to proceed if an outbreak is identified
  • Educating staff on Medical Device Safety
  • Creating systems for recording IPCP incidents
  • Providing education on safe cleaning of linens, mattresses, and pillows
  • Reviewing and updating disinfection practices
  • Completing an annual review of IPCP practices

Investing in an Infection Control Consultant will help your team feel prepared for your next survey and ultimately, ensure that your processes are doing what they’re meant to - protecting your residents and staff.


  1. Managing CMS Citations

 If your building has received a citation from CMS related to an infection prevention and control deficiency, an Infection Control Consultant can bring valuable insight to help your team institute a plan of correction. When a healthcare facility is given a citation, even a minor one, it can have long-lasting impacts for the organization and its residents. Having a certified expert walk you through the necessary steps to correct the issues will help to ensure that no further citations are given, which is crucial to the facility’s success and the overall health of the residents.


  1. Establishing Future Reviews and Plans

In the world of infectious diseases, only one thing is certain- change. Diseases evolve, and plans on how to manage them need to change as well. Although the pandemic has ended, it will likely remain part of the CMS survey process for many years to come, and it is uncertain how many changes we’ll face in the meantime. An Infection Control Consultant will work with your team to establish annual Infection Prevention and Control Program review processes and will assist you in learning how to make adjustments when needed. Proactive planning and review will help to ensure that your team is ready for anything that comes their way, and sets your organization up for success.


If your nursing center is looking to reduce risk and is in need of an Infection Control Consultant and survey, the LeaderStat team is here to help. Our team of clinical experts is trained and certified in Infection Control and can help facilities with compliance issues cited during a survey.


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LeaderStat specializes in direct care staff, interim leadership, executive recruitment, travel nursing and consulting for healthcare organizations nationwide.