A new, multi-day course is being designed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to help nursing homes prepare for the infection preventionist requirement included in the revised final rules of participation.

CMS outlined class topics in a March memo to state survey directors. All federally supported skilled nursing facilities must have a trained infection preventionist on staff by November 2019.

Providers have questioned who might best fill that role, whether it would need to be a full-time position and what kind of training would qualify an employee.

Others, including AHCA/ NCAL, have already designed their own training courses, typically to be taken for a price. CMS says its free course, which will be available online and on-demand by spring 2019, will provide “specialized training in infection prevention and control.

It will be held over 16 to 20 hours, though details were still being finalized as of press time. Topics to be covered include infection preventionists’ responsibilities, infection surveillance, hand hygiene, medication safety, antibiotic stewardship and more.