60 Seconds with... Sue Peschin

Sue Peschin, President and CEO, Alliance for Aging Research
Sue Peschin, President and CEO, Alliance for Aging Research

Q: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is making a push for better infection control in SNFs, but what's the concern?

A: CMS is trying to do more, but the problem is they are not specific enough. They aren't giving enough directives to skilled nursing facilities on how to do prevention or antibiotic stewardship. If you don't have anything specific, surveyors don't know what to look for.

Q: What should change?

A: CMS should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's lead on infection surveillance in the hospital setting. Nursing homes just use the Minimum Data Set, which isn't monthly. CMS also should consider mandating the CDC's core elements of antibiotic stewardship. 

Q: How would providers benefit?

A: Infections are contagious. If you have C. diff in your facility among your residents, there's a good chance staff can catch it. 

Q: What is the low-hanging fruit with infection prevention?

A: Anyone who has direct patient contact should have to get a flu vaccine. The other simple thing is everyone should wash their hands: After all these centuries, that's still the No. 1 way to prevent infection.