Harmony Healthcare Blog

Coronavirus and Influenza Outbreak: Top 20 Things You Need to Know

Posted by Kris Mastrangelo, OTR/L, LNHA, MBA on Fri, Mar 06, 2020
Kris Mastrangelo, OTR/L, LNHA, MBA
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Compliance • Audits/Analysis • Reimbursement/Regulatory/Rehab • Education/Efficiency


  1. Tom studying-3Number one goal is to prevent the virus from entering the Skilled Nursing Facility.
  2. If a virus enters the Skilled Nursing Facility, place full court press with goal to prevent the spread of infection.
  3. If there is a confirmed or suspected influenza outbreak, implement Outbreak Control Measures.
    Define Outbreak:
    • One case laboratory-confirmed influenza positive case identified along with other cases of acute respiratory illness in a unit of a long-term care facility, an influenza outbreak might be occurring.
    • Two cases of laboratory-confirmed influenza are identified within 72 hours of each other in residents on the same unit, outbreak control measures should be implemented as soon as possible.
  4. Implement Active Surveillance for additional cases should be implemented as soon as possible once one case of laboratory-confirmed influenza is identified in a facility.
  5. Administer Antiviral Treatment to all residents confirmed or suspected.
  6. Administer Antiviral Treatment to all eligible residents as soon as outbreak is determined.
  7. Implement Standard Precautions
    • Apply Standard Precautions to All Patients in all healthcare settings, regardless of the suspected or confirmed presence of an infectious agent.
    • Wear Gloves if hand contact with respiratory secretions or potentially contaminated surfaces is anticipated.
    • Wear a Gown if soiling of clothes with a resident’s respiratory secretions is anticipated.
    • Change Gloves and Gowns after each resident encounter and performing hand hygiene.
    • Masks and gowns need to be disposed when leaving the room.
    • Perform Hand Hygiene
      • Before and after touching the resident,
      • After touching the resident’s environment,
      • or After touching the resident’s respiratory secretions,

        Whether or not gloves are worn.

        Gloves do not replace the need for performing hand hygiene!
    • Add Hand Sanitizers
  8. Be sure to Isolate Infected residents.Click Here to Download
  9. Coding Isolation on the MDS is critical for both Medicare Part A and Medicaid Reimbursement.
  10. Ensure all Staff are Vaccinated.
  11. Implement Droplet Precautions
    • Implement Standard and Droplet Precautions for all residents with suspected or confirmed influenza.
    • Implement for residents confirmed or suspected of illness for 7 days after illness onset or until 24 hours after the resolution of the fever and respiratory symptoms, whichever is longer.
    • Staff Face Masks.
    • Resident Face Masks when/if transported.
    • Private Room or cohort.
  12. Contact Local and State Health Departments. Be sure to Define the Test used to confirm cases. Flu and Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing varies by state.
  13. On February 11, 2020 the WHO (World Health Organization) announced the official name of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as COVID-19.
  14. The COVID-19 caused an outbreak of respiratory illness, and was first identified in 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The most recent updates are available on the CDC web page:
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
  15. Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections can cause a range of ailments:
    • Little to No Symptoms
    • Severely Ill
    • Death

      Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections can cause a range of symptoms:
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of Breath
    • Symptoms may appear from 2 to 14 days after exposure
  16. The current ICD-10-CM Classification and the ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting (effective October 1, 2019) will be updated to reflect new clinical information.

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/icd/10cmguidelines-FY2020_final.pdf.
  17. The Elderly Population is the highest risk for death related to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Most of all deaths have been in persons over the age of 60 with existing chronic diseases.
  18. Download and Use 
    • Flu Outbreak Management Checklist 3.6.20.
      Click Here to Download
  19. Download and Use 
    • Resident and Staff Tracking Grid 3.6.20.
      Click Here to Download
  20. Download and Use
    • CMS Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Nursing Homes David Wright 3.13.20.
      Click Here to Download

Harmony Healthcare International (HHI) is available to assist with any questions or concerns that you may have.  You can contact us by clicking here.  Looking to train your staff?  Join us in person at one of our our upcoming Competency/Certification Courses.  Click here to see the dates and locations. 


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Topics: coronavirus

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