15% of facilities cited for IC violations

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More than one in seven nursing homes receive survey citations for problems related to infection control, a study backed by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology has found.

“The high number of deficiency citations for infection control problems identified in this study suggests the need for increased emphasis on these programs in nursing homes,” study authors noted.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health analyzed F-Tag 441 citations nationwide between 2000 and 2007. They found that infection control citations tended to go up as staffing levels declined. Overall, 15% of nursing homes were cited. Full findings appear in the May issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

“For all three caregivers examined (i.e., nurse aides, LPNs and RNs) low staffing levels are associated with F-Tag 441 citations,” study authors wrote. “With low staffing levels, these caregivers are likely hurried and may skimp on infection control measures, such as hand hygiene.”

Infections are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in nursing homes, responsible for nearly 400,000 deaths per year, the study notes.

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