Infection Prevention and Control Standards in Assisted Living Facilities: Are Residents Needs Being Met?
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Infection Prevention and Control Standards in Assisted Living Facilities: Are Residents Needs Being Met?

Filetype[PDF-259.99 KB]

  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      J Am Med Dir Assoc
    • Description:
      Background Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) provide housing and care to persons unable to live independently, and who often have increasing medical needs. Disease outbreaks illustrate challenges of maintaining adequate resident protections in these facilities. Objectives Describe current state laws on assisted living admissions criteria, medical oversight, medication administration, vaccination requirements, and standards for infection control training. Methods We abstracted laws and regulations governing assisted living facilities for the 50 states using a structured abstraction tool. Selected characteristics were compared according to the time period in which the regulation took effect. Selected state health departments were queried regarding outbreaks identified in assisted living facilities. Results Of the 50 states, 84% specify health-based admissions criteria to assisted living facilities. 60% require licensed healthcare professionals to oversee medical care. 88% specifically allow subcontracting with outside entities to provide routine medical services onsite, and 64% address medication administration by assisted living facility staff. 54% specify requirements for some form of initial infection control training for all staff; 50% require reporting of disease outbreaks to the health department. 30% offered or required vaccines to staff; 15% of states offered or required vaccines to residents. Eleven states identified approximately 1500 outbreaks from 2010–2013, with influenza or norovirus infections predominating. Conclusions There is wide variation in how assisted living facilities are regulated in the United States. States may wish to consider regulatory changes that assure safe healthcare delivery, and minimize risks of infections, outbreaks of disease, and other forms of harm among assisted living residents.
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