70th AHCA/NCAL Convention and Expo
This session will focus on the public health risk of Legionnaires’ disease (LD), well-documented approaches to preventing outbreaks, and the new CMS water management plan requirements. Legionnaires’ disease is a serious, potentially deadly form of bacterial pneumonia. Infection results from inhaling water mists and aerosols contaminated with Legionella bacteria. The primary sources of infection are Legionella-contaminated water from showers, faucets, cooling towers, hydrotherapy pools, and decorative water features such as fountains or water walls. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report a 300% increase in cases of LD diagnosed over the past 15 years. The fatality rate is 25% for people infected in a health care environment, including long term care and hospitals. It’s possible to reduce the risk of LD: According to the CDC, nine out of 10 outbreaks are preventable through a water management program. Participants will learn how the Legionella bacteria enter a long term care facility and grow in its plumbing systems. The speakers will illustrate the potential risk of an outbreak of LD using three well-known case studies. The session will cover the seven steps that administrators, nurses, and engineering staff need to include in a water management program and be in compliance with CMS QSO-17-30.