Surveillance and Technology
30/30 Education Session - 30 minutes
Since the CMS directive to implement a legionella risk-reduction program for healthcare water systems was launched in June 2017, many IPs are still confused about certain aspects of the directive; in particular, whether facilities are required to perform water quality sampling as part of the directive and what tests should be performed and how frequently.
While CMS does not specifically require testing, many IP's see the value of water sampling but must justify sampling protocols to facilities management or administrators. With no standards and little guidance around sampling protocols, it can be difficult for an IP to convince management of sampling benefits. This leads to a range of outcomes from no sampling to over-sampling. Without the right sampling strategy, water testing can be a costly waste of time and diminish the value of a water management program.
This session presents an approach for implementing a water sampling plan built upon a thorough facility risk assessment and leveraging the support of the municipal water supplier. Low-cost, real-time monitoring methods that can be used to build a water quality foundation are described along with an escalation pyramid approach to additional testing. Data generated from an appropriate sampling protocol can also be used to implement evidence-based maintenance programs that reduce the burden on facilities personnel.
Whether trying to meet the CMS directive or simply augmenting an IPC program to include water-borne pathogens, the IP will learn the benefits of water quality measurement and how to create an appropriate sampling protocol specific to their facility and situation.