42 CFR § 485.640 - Condition of participation: Infection prevention and control and antibiotic stewardship programs.

§ 485.640 Condition of participation: Infection prevention and control and antibiotic stewardship programs.

The CAH must have active facility-wide programs, for the surveillance, prevention, and control of HAIs and other infectious diseases and for the optimization of antibiotic use through stewardship. The programs must demonstrate adherence to nationally recognized infection prevention and control guidelines, as well as to best practices for improving antibiotic use where applicable, and for reducing the development and transmission of HAIs and antibiotic-resistant organisms. Infection prevention and control problems and antibiotic use issues identified in the programs must be addressed in coordination with the facility-wide quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI) program.

(a) Standard: Infection prevention and control program organization and policies. The CAH must demonstrate that:

(1) An individual (or individuals), who is qualified through education, training, experience, or certification in infection prevention and control, is appointed by the governing body, or responsible individual, as the infection preventionist(s)/infection control professional(s) responsible for the infection prevention and control program and that the appointment is based on the recommendations of medical staff leadership and nursing leadership;

(2) The infection prevention and control program, as documented in its policies and procedures, employs methods for preventing and controlling the transmission of infections within the CAH and between the CAH and other healthcare settings;

(3) The infection prevention and control includes surveillance, prevention, and control of HAIs, including maintaining a clean and sanitary environment to avoid sources and transmission of infection, and that the program also addresses any infection control issues identified by public health authorities; and

(4) The infection prevention and control program reflects the scope and complexity of the CAH services provided.

(b) Standard: Antibiotic stewardship program organization and policies. The CAH must demonstrate that:

(1) An individual (or individuals), who is qualified through education, training, or experience in infectious diseases and/or antibiotic stewardship, is appointed by the governing body, or responsible individual, as the leader(s) of the antibiotic stewardship program and that the appointment is based on the recommendations of medical staff leadership and pharmacy leadership;

(2) The facility-wide antibiotic stewardship program:

(i) Demonstrates coordination among all components of the CAH responsible for antibiotic use and resistance, including, but not limited to, the infection prevention and control program, the QAPI program, the medical staff, nursing services, and pharmacy services;

(ii) Documents the evidence-based use of antibiotics in all departments and services of the CAH; and

(iii) Documents any improvements, including sustained improvements, in proper antibiotic use;

(3) The antibiotic stewardship program adheres to nationally recognized guidelines, as well as best practices, for improving antibiotic use; and

(4) The antibiotic stewardship program reflects the scope and complexity of the CAH services provided.

(c) Standard: Leadership responsibilities.

(1) The governing body, or responsible individual, must ensure all of the following:

(i) Systems are in place and operational for the tracking of all infection surveillance, prevention and control, and antibiotic use activities, in order to demonstrate the implementation, success, and sustainability of such activities.

(ii) All HAIs and other infectious diseases identified by the infection prevention and control program as well as antibiotic use issues identified by the antibiotic stewardship program are addressed in collaboration with the CAH's QAPI leadership.

(2) The infection prevention and control professional(s) is responsible for:

(i) The development and implementation of facility-wide infection surveillance, prevention, and control policies and procedures that adhere to nationally recognized guidelines.

(ii) All documentation, written or electronic, of the infection prevention and control program and its surveillance, prevention, and control activities.

(iii) Communication and collaboration with the CAH's QAPI program on infection prevention and control issues.

(iv) Competency-based training and education of CAH personnel and staff, including medical staff, and, as applicable, personnel providing contracted services in the CAH, on the practical applications of infection prevention and control guidelines, policies and procedures.

(v) The prevention and control of HAIs, including auditing of adherence to infection prevention and control policies and procedures by CAH personnel.

(vi) Communication and collaboration with the antibiotic stewardship program.

(3) The leader(s) of the antibiotic stewardship program is responsible for:

(i) The development and implementation of a facility-wide antibiotic stewardship program, based on nationally recognized guidelines, to monitor and improve the use of antibiotics.

(ii) All documentation, written or electronic, of antibiotic stewardship program activities.

(iii) Communication and collaboration with medical staff, nursing, and pharmacy leadership, as well as the CAH's infection prevention and control and QAPI programs, on antibiotic use issues.

(iv) Competency-based training and education of CAH personnel and staff, including medical staff, and, as applicable, personnel providing contracted services in the CAHs, on the practical applications of antibiotic stewardship guidelines, policies, and procedures.

(d) COVID-19 reporting. During the Public Health Emergency, as defined in § 400.200 of this chapter, the CAH must report information in accordance with a frequency as specified by the Secretary on COVID-19 in a standardized format specified by the Secretary. This report must include, but not be limited to, the following data elements:

(1) The CAH's current inventory supplies of any COVID-19-related therapeutics that have been distributed and delivered to the CAH under the authority and direction of the Secretary; and

(2) The CAH's current usage rate for any COVID-19-related therapeutics that have been distributed and delivered to the CAH under the authority and direction of the Secretary.

(e) Standard: Reporting of Acute Respiratory Illness, including Seasonal Influenza Virus, Influenza-like Illness, and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection. During the Public Health Emergency, as defined in § 400.200 of this chapter, the CAH must report information, in accordance with a frequency as specified by the Secretary, on Acute Respiratory Illness (including, but not limited to, Seasonal Influenza Virus, Influenza-like Illness, and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection) in a standardized format specified by the Secretary.

(f) Standard: COVID-19 Vaccination of CAH staff. The CAH must develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure that all staff are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. For purposes of this section, staff are considered fully vaccinated if it has been 2 weeks or more since they completed a primary vaccination series for COVID-19. The completion of a primary vaccination series for COVID-19 is defined here as the administration of a single-dose vaccine, or the administration of all required doses of a multi-dose vaccine.

(1) Regardless of clinical responsibility or patient contact, the policies and procedures must apply to the following CAH staff, who provide any care, treatment, or other services for the CAH and/or its patients:

(i) CAH employees;

(ii) Licensed practitioners;

(iii) Students, trainees, and volunteers; and

(iv) Individuals who provide care, treatment, or other services for the CAH and/or its patients, under contract or by other arrangement.

(2) The policies and procedures of this section do not apply to the following CAH staff:

(i) Staff who exclusively provide telehealth or telemedicine services outside of the CAH setting and who do not have any direct contact with patients and other staff specified in paragraph (f)(1) of this section; and

(ii) Staff who provide support services for the CAH that are performed exclusively outside of the CAH setting and who do not have any direct contact with patients and other staff specified in paragraph (f)(1) of this section.

(3) The policies and procedures must include, at a minimum, the following components:

(i) A process for ensuring all staff specified in paragraph (f)(1) of this section (except for those staff who have pending requests for, or who have been granted, exemptions to the vaccination requirements of this section, or those staff for whom COVID-19 vaccination must be temporarily delayed, as recommended by the CDC, due to clinical precautions and considerations) have received, at a minimum, a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, or the first dose of the primary vaccination series for a multi-dose COVID-19 vaccine prior to staff providing any care, treatment, or other services for the CAH and/or its patients;

(ii) A process for ensuring that all staff specified in paragraph (f)(1) of this section are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, except for those staff who have been granted exemptions to the vaccination requirements of this section, or those staff for whom COVID-19 vaccination must be temporarily delayed, as recommended by the CDC, due to clinical precautions and considerations;

(iii) A process for ensuring the implementation of additional precautions, intended to mitigate the transmission and spread of COVID-19, for all staff who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19;

(iv) A process for tracking and securely documenting the COVID-19 vaccination status of all staff specified in paragraph (f)(1) of this section;

(v) A process for tracking and securely documenting the COVID-19 vaccination status of any staff who have obtained any booster doses as recommended by the CDC;

(vi) A process by which staff may request an exemption from the staff COVID-19 vaccination requirements based on an applicable Federal law;

(vii) A process for tracking and securely documenting information provided by those staff who have requested, and for whom the CAH has granted, an exemption from the staff COVID-19 vaccination requirements based on recognized clinical contraindications or applicable Federal laws;

(viii) A process for ensuring that all documentation, which confirms recognized clinical contraindications to COVID-19 vaccines and which supports staff requests for medical exemptions from vaccination, has been signed and dated by a licensed practitioner, who is not the individual requesting the exemption, and who is acting within their respective scope of practice as defined by, and in accordance with, all applicable State and local laws, and for further ensuring that such documentation contains

(A) All information specifying which of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines are clinically contraindicated for the staff member to receive and the recognized clinical reasons for the contraindications; and

(B) A statement by the authenticating practitioner recommending that the staff member be exempted from the CAH's COVID-19 vaccination requirements for staff based on the recognized clinical contraindications;

(ix) A process for ensuring the tracking and secure documentation of the vaccination status of staff for whom COVID-19 vaccination must be temporarily delayed, as recommended by the CDC, due to clinical precautions and considerations, including, but not limited to, individuals with acute illness secondary to COVID-19, and individuals who received monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma for COVID-19 treatment; and

(x) Contingency plans for staff who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

[84 FR 51827, Sept. 30, 2019, as amended at 85 FR 54873, Sept. 2, 2020; 85 FR 86304, Dec. 29, 2020; 86 FR 61623, Nov. 5, 2021]
Editorial Note:
At 85 FR 86304, Dec. 29, 2020, this section was amended, effective Dec. 4, 2020; however, due to a publication error, the amendments were codified at 86 FR 33902, June 28, 2021.

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