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New CMS Cohorting Guidance
Today, CMS released detailed guidance on long term care facility transfers.
All nursing homes and assisted living communities should make plans for cohorting residents even before COVID-19 enters the building. Cohorting is imperative to help control the spread of the virus. If possible, nursing homes and assisted living communities should also begin preparing wings, units or floors as “isolation units.” Isolation unit should be a separate, well-ventilated area, ideally with a separate entrance.
ISDH Issues PPE Request Guidance
The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has issued a process and corresponding guidance to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to local health departments and long-term care facilities.
Long-term care facilities in need of PPE should first contact the facility’s local health department. If the local health department does not have supplies to meet the request, or the local health department is unreachable, long-term care facilities should complete a ICS 213 RR form and email the form to email@example.com. ISDH can only fill a request once a facility’s current stock reaches 72 hours or fewer.
ISDH Assessment and Transfer Forms
The ISDH issued a variety of forms to help guide long-term care facilities’ assessment of residents and/or determination of when to transfer a resident to the hospital. These forms track with the guidance issued by the ISDH on April 1, 2020, detailing hospital discharge to long-term care facilities, and facilities sending of residents to the emergency department.
The first assessment form may be used by long-term care nurses when assessing a change in the status of a resident at a facility to help guide COVID-related assessments and discussions with the resident’s physician.
The ISDH also provided best practices for long-term care facility administrators and staff to use when determining whether to transfer a resident in a long-term care facility to a hospital. If it is determined that the resident should be transferred, the following cover sheet may be utilized to send to the hospital.
Finally, the ISDH developed a form to be used by hospital administrators and staff to send a patient to a long-term care facility following hospitalization, as well as a check-list for the long-term care facility administrators and staff to use to help prepare for a resident who is being considered for admission or readmission from the hospital.
New OSHA Resources: Low/Unavailable PPE and Reporting Staff Cases
AHCA/NCAL released four new resources on guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on critically low or unavailable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). These new resources are applicable to all long term care providers.