Infection Prevention and Control Standards in Assisted Living Facilities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association on infection control in ALFs.  The article describes current state laws governing assisted living facilities including admissions criteria, medical oversight, medication administration, vaccination requirements, and standards for infection control training. Of the 50 states:

  • 84% specify health-based admissions criteria to assisted living facilities;
  • 60% require licensed health care professionals to oversee medical care;
  • 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;
  • 18% specify requirements to offer or require vaccines to staff; and
  • 30% specify requirements to offer or require vaccines to residents.

Clear gaps in laws and regulations exist surrounding blood glucose monitoring. “Although some states, such as Georgia, Indiana, and North Carolina, mentioned the use of fingerstick devices by staff on residents, none addressed critical infection control issues around this activity, such as policies around appropriate use of disposable single-use devices and cleaning and disinfecting of blood glucose meters.”  Twelve states, including Virginia, identified approximately 1,600 outbreaks in assisted living settings from 2010 to 2013, with influenza or norovirus infections predominating.