Upcoming Webinar: Infection Surveillance in Long-Term Care

February 23, 2018
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Having completed fellowships in geriatrics and infectious diseases, Theresa Rowe, DO, MS, knows all about the importance of understanding and controlling infections in post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) facilities. She also knows the challenges practitioners and their teams face, such as the “many misconceptions out there about vaccines and influenza.”  She has begun working the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) on these issues. Now she is pleased to share her knowledge and expertise in a Society webinar on “Infection Surveillance in Long-Term Care,” set for Wednesday, February 28, 2018.

This webinar—FREE to Society members—will give participants a deeper understanding of infection surveillance’s value and help them understand the reform requirements for infection prevention and how it impacts their facilities. Dr. Rowe also will discuss the various strategies and tools available to implement effective infection surveillance systems. Additionally, she will share valuable information from the NHSN, including the potential use of its LTC facility component as a surveillance system in this setting.

“We need to be able to measure the problems first. It’s hard to target areas for prevention without knowing where we need to put our focus,” says Dr. Rowe. In a setting where the team often already feels overburdened, adding surveillance can feel like another task. She will help webinar participants understand “how we can implement surveillance in the daily workflow and how it can help prevent issues such as outbreaks and inappropriate use of antibiotics.”

Dr. Rowe stresses, “We need to have accurate information about infection rates. Effective surveillance truly can save lives, as well as time and money.” A good surveillance program, she says, can target a flu or C. difficile infection (CDI) outbreak and allow the facility to hone in and use appropriate resources to identify and address issues that can lead to hospitalizations. She observes, “Surveillance allows us to target outbreaks right away and improve antibiotic stewardship.”

A strong surveillance program not only can improve outcomes, Dr. Rowe notes, but it also can help calm fears, dispel myths and misinformation. This helps give everyone the confidence to act quickly and rationally when an outbreak occurs.  Dr. Rowe notes, “In an area where team support and the engagement of nurses and physicians is key, surveillance can form the foundation of a strong infection control program; and this ultimately benefits our patients.”

Dr. Rowe is passionate about working with her Society colleagues to maximize quality care and safety for residents. These individuals, the patients she sees every day, are a constant source of inspiration. She says, “Whether they are here for short or long stays, I learn so much from them. I really enjoy talking to patients and their families and being there for them.” She adds, “Nursing homes really are lovely places to work. The practitioners and staff work so hard to care for their patients, and the patients make every visit special and enlightening.”

Click here more information. This and all webinars are FREE for Society members, so keep your membership current to access the best in PALTC medicine education and resources at tremendous savings.