HAI Infection Prevention Education

The resources below are intended to connect health care facility infection preventionists (IP) with education materials to support their role in preventing, detecting, and responding to healthcare-associated infections. IPs play an essential role in facility infection prevention policy development, surveillance, and risk assessment.

IPs serve as a resource to other staff and programs within their facilities. In addition to the state in-person trainings and online references below, there are a number of links to trusted education resources, including the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

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Infection Prevention Resources

IP Starter Kit

Long-Term Care Education Series

The long-term care (LTC) education series provides education presentations on topics that include infection prevention, HAIs, antibiotic stewardship, disease surveillance, and outbreak response for staff at skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, local health departments, and other LTC stakeholders. Each session features a new, timely topic presented by DHS program staff, HAI Infection Preventionists (IPs), partner organizations, or other external subject matter experts. View the full library of education sessions.

Session Recordings

August 26, 2021

Topic: Wisconsin Long-Term Care Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Toolkit 

July 22, 2021

Topic: Identifying, Investigating, and Responding to Novel Multidrug-Resistant Organisms (MDROs)

June 24, 2021

Topic: Hand Hygiene: More Than Just Soap and Water

May 27, 2021

Topic: GI Illness and Outbreaks in Long-Term Care Facilities

IP Boot Camp Materials

External Resources

 


Infection Prevention and Control Considerations

The information below is intended to provide selected infection prevention and control considerations; it is not intended to provide all-inclusive guidance to meet regulatory requirements. Instead, it provides tips and “thinking points” on topics that contribute to infection prevention. These topics may be things that the Department of Health Services (DHS) Infection Preventionists (IP) have witnessed during on-site visits, received questions about, or noted while working in past facility-based IP positions. Many of these considerations were covered in the DHS Long-Term Care (LTC) Education Series, but most topics extend well beyond LTC into any health care setting.

Eyewash Stations

In a health care setting, emergency plumbed or potable eyewash stations are typically found in areas where work is done with corrosive or caustic chemicals or where corrosive or caustic chemicals are mixed and used, such as housekeeping areas. Blood and body fluids are not considered corrosive or caustic. A risk assessment should be conducted to determine the need for a plumbed or potable eyewash stations. 

Some general eyewash station standards and requirements to consider:

  • Eyewash stations must be in accessible locations that require no more than 10 seconds or 55 feet to reach. It should be located on the same level as the corrosive or caustic chemicals and the path of travel should be free from obstructions.  
  • Eyewash stations should be identified with a highly visible sign that is positioned to be visible within the area served by the eyewash station. 
  • Eyewash stations should be connected to a supply of flushing fluid. They should produce the required spray pattern for a minimum period of 15 minutes.
  • Eyewash stations should be temperature controlled for hot and cold.
  • Eyewash stations must be inspected, checked for cleanliness/debris, and flushed weekly. The eyewash station should be flushed for a period of time in order to verify flushing fluid is in an even, steady stream and clear. Ensure the unit is unobstructed and activates easily with one hand, meaning the flow removes the eye piece covers on its own. This inspection process must be documented.

Wall mounted saline bottles:
Secondary wall mounted bottles of saline would not be suitable for areas that have corrosive or caustic chemicals, but would be suitable in care areas for potential unanticipated blood/body fluid splashes. Expiration must be routinely checked and replacement saline bottles must be on hand.

Related resources:
CDC Environmental Infection Control Guidelines, page 63 – brief mention about eyewash station flushing 
CMS State Operations Manual, LTCFs, page 679 – Infection Control Policies and Procedures
University of Wisconsin, Environment, Health, and Safety Department, additional resources and information on eyewash stations, including links to Wisconsin code and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

Linen Storage

Linen management is important because it can be a source of pathogen transmission. CMS guidelines require that staff handle, store, process, and transport all linens and laundry in accordance with accepted national standards in order to produce hygienically clean laundry and prevent the spread of infection to the extent possible. Follow all CMS guidelines for handling, storing, processing and transporting processes.

Some general linen storage standards and requirements to consider:

  • Ensure that portable linen carts are routinely cleaned and inspected. The cover must always be down and other items should not be placed on top of or in the linen carts. 
  • Consider the placement of portable linen carts that are in shower or spa rooms. They should not be near a water source or toilet.
  • When considering where linens will be stored, inspect the closet or room. Linens should be stored in a designated, clean space with a door. The space should not be shared. 
  • If possible, linens should be covered. There should never be open ceiling or large vents above or around the linens. If there are vents, assess what type and if there is risk of dust and debris coming out of these vents on to the linens. 

Related resources: 

Last Revised: August 30, 2021