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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in Inquiry, Volume 55, January 2018, Pages 46958018778636.

The published version is available at Copyright © Stone et al.


Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) final rule required that nursing homes (NHs) develop an infection control program that includes an antibiotic stewardship component and employs a trained infection preventionist (IP). The objectives of this study were to provide a baseline assessment of (1) NH facility and infection control program characteristics associated with having an infection control deficiency citation and (2) associations between IP training and the presence of antibiotic stewardship policies, controlling for NH characteristics. A cross-sectional survey of 2514 randomly sampled US NHs was conducted to assess IP training, staff turnover, and infection control program characteristics (ie, frequency of infection control committee meetings and the presence of 7 antibiotic stewardship policies). Responses were linked to concurrent Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Reporting data, which contain information about NH facility characteristics and citations. Descriptive statistics and multivariable regression analyses were conducted to account for NH characteristics. Surveys were received from 990 NHs; 922 had complete data. One-third of NHs in this sample received an infection control deficiency citation. The NHs that received deficiency citations were more likely to have committees that met weekly/monthly versus quarterly ( P < .01). The IPs in 39% of facilities had received specialized training. Less than 3% of trained IPs were certified in infection control. The NHs with trained IPs were more likely to have 5 of the 7 components of antibiotic stewardship in place (all P < .05). The IP training, although infrequent, was associated with the presence of antibiotic stewardship policies. Receiving an infection control citation was associated with more frequent infection control committee meetings. Training and support of IPs is needed to ensure infection control and antibiotic stewardship in NHs. As the CMS rule becomes implemented, more research is warranted. There is a need for increase in trained IPs in US NHs. These data can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the CMS final rule on infection management processes in US NHs.

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