Don't slip on infection control basics amid coronavirus outbreak, CMS warns

CMS sent a memo to state survey agency directors urging them to double down on compliance with basic infection control practices.

The memo includes information and links to resources to combat the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. It also states that healthcare staff and surveyors, including federal, state and local contractors are expected to adhere to standard infection control practices, such as CDC recommendations on standard hand hygiene practices.

In 2020 surveys, CMS and accrediting organization acute care surveyors will be especially alert to hand hygiene practices, including the use of alcohol-based hand rub/hand sanitizer, the preferred method of hand hygiene in clinical settings, the memo says.

"We know that adherence to basic infection control and prevention practices such as hand hygiene can help reduce the risk of infectious disease spread in all healthcare settings," the memo reads.

CMS also said it will continue to work with the CDC, accrediting organizations and state survey
agencies to ensure that healthcare facility infection control programs meet minimum health and safety standards.

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