In this first convening of the Community Standards of Practice (CSOP) SIG, we discussed Influenza activity in our region and facilities. We had at least 20 participants on the call from Palo Pinto to Bonham and many places in-between. Below are some findings from our call that may help you in your facility if you’re feeling the burden of this year’s flu season.
- Reporting requirements:
a. Check with your local authority on their requirement. Some may vary.
- Visitor restrictions/screening:
a. Many respondents are utilizing signage at main (or all) entrances encouraging visitors to stay away if they’re experiencing flu-like symptoms
b. Some respondents are relying upon bedside staff to watch for questionably sick visitors and encouraging them to leave for the safety of the patient.
c. One respondent is strongly encouraging limitation of visitors to one person per patient.
d. One respondent is currently limiting visitors to two per room in areas without single-patient rooms.
e. Some Long-Term Care facilities have shut their doors to visitors and new residents in response to outbreaks in their facilities.
- Sick Healthcare Workers (HCWs):
i. Most respondents noted that HCW Call-Ins are funneled by unit managers/house supervisors to the Employee Health or Infection Prevention department.
b. Handling if present to work
i. Some respondents have the ability to send sick HCWs home.
ii. Some respondents rely upon managers to send sick HCWs home.
iii. Some respondents explained patients are sent to Employee/Occupational Health for evaluation
iv. Evaluation varied from screening for Influenza-like Illness (ILI) to testing for flu and treating
i. Most respondents are not providing prophylaxis at this time
ii. Few are with documented exposure regardless of vaccination status
iii. Below is guidance for prophylaxis at LTC facilities:
4. Empiric Precautions:
a. Most respondents are not employing empiric droplet precautions at this time. It was encouraged this decision be evaluated at a physician-specific level given no known standard established in the community.
Thank you all for your participation in our SIG conference call. We hope you found the call and this information valuable if you were unable to attend. If you have any questions, please email MarieWilson@mhd.com .