Managing Infection Outbreaks 

Elderly care providers must maintain rigorous infection prevention and control policies.

Policies should allow staff to implement the necessary precautions quickly once an outbreak is confirmed.

 

Precautions to take during an outbreak

In the case of an outbreak staff should follow these measures at a minimum:

Cleaning

  • Reinforce hygiene and cleaning measures
  • Deep clean the entire facility
  • Introduce a regime for frequent cleaning of all common touch points in the home

Isolation

  • Isolate any infected residents
  • Residents are to remain in isolation until they are 48 hours clear of their last symptom 

Observation

  • Increase observations of isolated residents
    • Feelings of loneliness are likely to increase during isolation
  • Increase observations of residents not in isolation
    • This will help staff identify new cases of infection promptly

Review

Infected residents may require different care as they recover:

  • Monitor their intake of liquids to ensure they do not become dehydrated
  • Make alterations to their diet if required

Postponing visitors

Postpone visitors as well as outside trips, new admissions and readmission/return from hospital.

This measure ensures that:

  • New residents admitted do not catch the infection
  • The wider community is not exposed to the infection
  • The infection is not brought back into the home again by a visitor 

Documenting Infection Outbreaks

All elements of an infection outbreak must be documented comprehensively.

Resident records

Staff must document:

  • When symptoms started
  • Measures taken to prevent the spread of infection
  • Care given to the resident

In AutumnCare the Infection Notification Form prompts staff to enter detailed notes.

 

Central records

A centralised record allows Management to monitor the outbreak.

This information can be collated manually each day, or collated automatically using the AutumnCare Dashboard.

Here real time updates make it easy to track infection outbreaks and respond to changes as they happen.

 

Communication with families 

Infection outbreaks can be communicated with families via phone or email.

With AutumnCare, alerts can be sent instantly to families using our family communication app.

 

Contact AutumnCare

Contact us if you'd like to find out how AutumnCare can help you better mitigate infection outbreaks.

 

Read part one and part two in our three part series on antimicrobial stewardship and infection control.

Use the form below to download a comprehensive guide on what we've covered in this blog series.