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Insights and Trends

Essential Infection Control Procedures for Inpatient Rehabilitation

Although infection prevention and control measures have always been a part of an inpatient rehabilitation facility’s (IRFs) operational model, the impact on patient health and safety following COVID-19 has not only brought these measures to the forefront of patient care, but has also seen additions and revisions to previous practices.

Below are 5 standout infection control measures upheld by IRFs to help combat the spread of COVID-19 against the most vulnerable of populations, as well as the benefits these standards offer compared to other care settings.

  1. Certification: IRFs are certified as general post-acute care hospitals, and must comply with the same health and safety requirements as acute hospitals. Additionally, IRFs must also meet state licensure requirement to ensure they can effectively manage the extensive care needs of critically ill, medically complex patients who require a longer recovery period.
  2. Staffing: Through the CMS Medicare program, IRFs require daily physician oversight, a 24/7 RN presence and feature hospital-level infection control overseen by an Infection Control Officer.
  3. Employee Protection: Competencies and special employee training are built in at IRFs to address myriad multi-drug resistant organisms, viruses and infections in order to prevent or minimize their spread. IRFs also maintain a well-established and robust PPE supply chain.
  4. Patient Safety: IRFs have additional guidelines in place to protect the patient. From air quality to full service testing areas, IRFs are engineered to prioritize patient safety at all times.
  5. Advanced Clinical Expertise: IRF professionals are leading experts in intensive rehabilitative care, with best-in-class capabilities in returning patients to their abilities prior to their injury or surgery, and discharging them to independence at home.

Lifepoint upholds these standards within each partner IRF – enabling facilities to surpass other care setting in infection control measures. Further, we have been recognized for its infection prevention efforts and robust PPE supply chain, creating a safer environment for patient recovering from COVID-19 and other medically complex conditions.

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