Introduction

Effective Infection Prevention and Control practices are regarded as one of the most critical measures to preventing and controlling the transmission of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 in nursing homes. It is acknowledged that enhanced Infection Prevention and Control measures, commensurate to a pandemic are now required by nursing homes to ensure the ongoing safety of residents and staff. Consequently, HIQA recently published the COVID-19 – An assurance framework for registered providers – preparedness planning and Infection prevention and control measures which places significant new demands on residential homes if they are to be assured of compliance.

Given these new measures and the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, we discuss in this blog the value of conducting an independent audit of your system for infection prevention and control and how HCI can support you to do this.


Infection Prevention and Control Audit

An Infection Prevention and Control Audit will establish the current baseline of your system of Infection Prevention and Control and form a strategy for improvement. Utilising an external provider ensures independence and creditability of the findings but also the auditor will have the necessary expertise and knowledge of the standards to accurately assess your compliance.

As a provider of professional services in relation to resident safety, quality improvement, and regulatory compliance, HCI has significant experience in supporting nursing homes in improving the quality and safety of services. HCI can conduct an independent audit of your nursing home’s current system of Infection Prevention and Control against HIQA’s National Standards for infection prevention and control in community services (2018). HCI’s audit would be comprehensive, utilising a triangulation approach of document review, process observation and staff interviews.

The outcome of the audit would be a report detailing areas of good practice and areas for improvement with respect to Infection Prevention and Control. The report would also set out Quality Improvement Plans (QIPs) to address the areas for improvement.


10 Reasons to choose HCI’s Infection Prevention and Control Audit

1)  Independence

Utilising an external auditor such as HCI, ensures independence of the audit which provides assurance with regard to the creditability of the findings.

2)  Identify Risk Areas

During the audit our auditor(s) will identify any high-risk areas with respect to Infection Prevention and Control. Not only that, should risks pertinent to other areas be observed, HCI will alert you to these.

3)  Policies and Procedures

HCI’s Audit will identify if the policies and procedures in place are based on best practice, and up to date standards and legislation. HCI will also determine if policies and procedures are being implemented in everyday practice.

4)  Regulatory Experts

HCI’s Quality and Safety Specialists are experts at interpreting and understanding the requirements of National Standards and Regulations. They have extensive experience in conducting audits and implementing quality improvement plans to address areas for improvement. Not only this, our specialists are very familiar with best practice techniques and can offer you guidance on enhanced measures for infection prevention and control.

5)  Knowledge Transfer to Staff

In particular, during the onsite part of the audit, education and knowledge transfer from HCI’s Specialists to your staff will take place. Extensive knowledge and learnings will also be transferred to Management during the end of day discussion on findings.

6)  Comprehensive Report with Roadmap for Improvement

Following the onsite audit and analysis of findings, HCI will provide you with a comprehensive report detailing areas of good practice and areas for improvement. The report will also include a set of QIPs which will guide you to achieving regulatory compliance.

7)  Regulatory Compliance

Determining the baseline of your system for Infection Prevention and Control and implementing the recommended QIPs will put you on the right path to achieving regulatory compliance.

8)  Be Prepared for COVID-19

An audit of your system for Infection Prevention and Control and a set of QIPs based on best practice and regulatory requirements provides assurances that you are operating in line with best practices infection prevention and control measures and are prepared for the possibility of an infectious disease outbreak such as COVID-19.

9)  Support a culture of safety

Implementing QIPs drives quality improvement, improving the overall care and delivery of safe services for residents.

10)  HCI’s Reputation

HCI has 15 years’ experience in relation to resident safety, quality improvement, and regulatory compliance. During this time, HCI have supported over 300 nursing homes helping them to improve quality and safety of care for residents.


Conclusion

It is widely accepted that in order to ensure preparedness for COVID-19, Nursing Homes must implement enhanced Infection Prevention and Control measures. The first step to doing this is to identify your baseline system for Infection Prevention and Control and determine where the gaps are. HCI has the experience and knowledge to assist you with this assessment. We understand the significant requirements and challenges facing Nursing Homes and would like to support you to ensure the ongoing safety of your residents and staff.

For more in HCI’s Supports in relation to Infection Prevention and Control click here.

Contact HCI

For more information contact info@hci.care or Phone +353 (0)1 6292559.