You couldn’t call Linda Spaulding, RB-BC, CIC, and a member of Infection control todayÂ®The editorial advisory board of, victim of the circumstances because victims are generally not happy. But exactly 1 day later TICÂ® broadcast a video interview with Spaulding on September 16 in which she stressed that infection control issues in nursing homes (and elsewhere) will never be resolved unless funding bolsters good intentions, the federal government unveiled a $ 2.1 billion plan to improve infection prevention and control measures against COVID-19 and future infectious diseases.
âIt’s awesome,â says Spaulding TICÂ®. âAnd this time, they don’t just include acute care, but all outpatient areas. Clearly, COVID-19 has shown where our infection control weaknesses lie and now the federal government is finally putting its money where its mouth is. “
Spaulding plans to review the details of the effort shortly, but predicts it will save many lives across the United States, protecting people not only from COVID-19 but all other deadly pathogens as well. And it’s especially good for long-term care facilities (LTCFs).
âI think this will help nursing homes immensely in being able to provide better infection prevention and care to their residents,â Spaulding said.
The Biden administration unveiled the $ 2.1 billion package last Friday, as part of the administration’s $ 1.9 trillion US bailout.
Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said in a Press release that “this funding will dramatically improve the safety and quality of health care in the United States during the pandemic and into the future.” The funding will provide significant resources to our public health departments and healthcare systems and opportunities to develop innovative strategies to protect every segment of the American population, particularly those disproportionately affected by the pandemic, at a moment when they are hit hard. “
It is not known how far Walensky pushed for this decision, but many infection prevention (PI) specialists took heart when Walensky became director of the CDC earlier this year due to her extensive experience in prevention and infection control.
For example, Priya Nori, MD, medical director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Montefiore Health System, said TICÂ® in a Q&A in March that âthe infectious disease community in particular is incredibly thrilled with the new CDC director. She is a woman who has spent her years researching HIV, who has seen patients for many years. Who knows what it’s like to be on the front lines. She is a formidable advocate for not only infectious diseases, faculty members and physicians, but also future interns in the workforce, related professionals and pharmacy, infection prevention and nursing. . And she really understands, and she understands us. She understands what we’re doing. I cannot imagine a better defender and ally at the national level, very close to the administration.
Over the next 3 years, the CDC plans to allocate $ 1.25 billion in funding to 64 state, local and territorial health departments to support the effort. The funding will go to approximately 6,000 hospitals, 15,400 nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, 7,900 dialysis clinics and 4,700 day surgery centers.
Allocations are expected to begin next month, with rewards totaling $ 885, of which $ 500 million will go to what the CDC calls “strike teams” that will focus on LTCFs.
The CDC says the strike teams “will allow health departments in states and other jurisdictions to staff, train and deploy strike teams to assist skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities with known or suspected outbreaks of COVID-19. Strike teams will enable jurisdictions to provide surge capacity to facilities for clinical services; address staff shortages in institutions; and strengthen infection prevention and control (IPC) activities to prevent, detect and contain outbreaks, including support for COVID-19 vaccine recalls. “
In addition, the funding aims to:
- Strengthen the capacity of states to prevent, detect and contain threats of infectious diseases in health care settings: This will involve significant infection prevention and control support to public health services to work with health facilities to improve the quality of health care, and efforts to minimize infections in many health care facilities. health.
- Increase laboratory capacity for healthcare: This will improve surveillance of emerging pathogens to better identify patients infected with non-COVID-19 pathogens such as resistant carbapenems Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and Candida auris. “Throughout the pandemic, there have been outbreaks of antibiotic resistant pathogens in COVID-19 units and other health care facilities,” the CDC says.
- Firstline project: Funding will be increased for this effort to teach basic infection prevention and control methods to all healthcare workers.
- National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN): The CDC hopes to increase state funding to better monitor infections in healthcare facilities.
- Antibiotic management: The money will help analyze data on antibiotic use and improve antibiotic prescribing, according to the CDC. âAlthough ineffective against COVID-19, antibiotics have been routinely prescribed to patients during the pandemic, increasing the risk of antibiotic resistance,â the CDC says.