Duties of the Infection Control Preventionist and the Infection Control Team

Many people do not understand what the role of the Infection Control (IC) Preventionist (ICP) and his or her team is so here is a list of just some of the duties performed by your facilities IC Team.

1. Develop written policies and procedures for the prevention and control of infectious or communicable diseases within the facility.
2. Assist in the development of the content and scope of the employee health program and disseminate current information on health practices to all employees.
3. Develop written policies and procedures for techniques and systems for identifying infections within the facility.
4. Notify appropriate government agencies of contagious or infectious diseases.
5. Review food handling practices, laundry practices, waste disposal, pest control, traffic control, visiting rules for high-risk areas, and sources of airborne infection.
6. Evaluate job classifications and facility procedures to determine their risk exposure potential to blood, body fluids or other potentially infectious materials.
7. Review and observe techniques used in maintenance of equipment, ice machines, water fountains, etc.
8. Develop written policies and procedures for the care of patients/residents who have contagious, infectious or communicable diseases.
9. Monitor the health status of all employees, ensuring that all personnel receive (as necessary) appropriate skin tests, chest x-rays, physical, etc., prior to, and during employment as outlined in our personnel policies and in accordance with federal and state guidelines.
10. Ensure that employees with an infectious or communicable disease are not assigned patient/resident care services.
11. Ensure that the facility is maintained in a sanitary environment.
12. Maintain written accounts of meetings conducted and action taken by the IC committee.
13. Ensure infection control orientation and in-service training programs are provided to employees on a timely basis.
14. Review isolation technique and procedures to assure that all personnel, residents, and visitors are following established procedures/precautions.
15. Review all written infection control policies, techniques, and procedures at least annually for necessary revisions or updating.
16. Review cleaning procedures, agents, and schedules and recommend any major changes in cleaning products or techniques.
17. Evaluate the disposal systems for all liquid and solid waste.
18. Assure that an adequate amount of protective supplies (i.e., gowns, gloves, masks, etc.), are on hand and readily accessible for handling infectious wastes, blood and/or body fluids.
19. Others as required including quality assurance, or that may become necessary to ensure that the prevention and control of communicable diseases can be at all times.

It is the responsibility of the Infecton Control Team and the Education Department to exstablish an initial and periodic training program for all employees who may have the potential for exposure to blood, or to body fluids containing visible blood during the course of their workday. OSHA requires instructions on the prevention of bloodborne diseases to include, as a minimum, information on:
1. Disease transmission and prevention
The modes of transmission of Hepatitis B, C and HIV viruses
3. How to recognize and determine the difference between tasks that involve exposure to blood/body fluids and those that do not involve exposure
4. The types of barrier equipment (i.e., gowns, gloves, masks, etc.) that are necessary for use when performing tasks that may involve the exposure to blood/body fluids
5. How to select appropriate barrier equipment
6. Appropriate actions to take if unplanned potential exposure to blood occurs, or is anticipated
7. Procedures to follow when protective barriers are used
8. Where protective barrier equipment is maintained in the facility, how it is to be used, decontaminated , and disposed of
9. Limitations of protective barrier equipment (i.e., needlestics will occur through gloves)
10. Corrective action to take if blood spills occur
11. Procedures to use to decontaminate blood spills
12. Proper action to follow should be bona-fide exposure to blood occur (i.e., emercy procedures, reporting measures, follow-up monitoring, medical treatment, counseling, etc)

OSHA requirements:
1. Training recors, indicating the dates of training sessions, the content of those training sessions along with the names of all persons conductiong the training, and the names of all those receiving training should be kept and readly accessible in the facility.