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Nursing Home Omnibudsman

Lexington, KY – The Kentucky State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is participating in an infection prevention program with the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (Consumer Voice) and the American Hospital Association’s Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET). The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) Safety Program for Long-term Care project focuses on healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs).

The primary goal of the project is to reduce catheter-associated urinary tract infections, increase infection prevention skill of staff, residents, and families, and improve safety culture in an overall goal of reducing re-hospitalizations.

Sherry Culp, Kentucky State Long-Term Care Ombudsman stated, “We want the residents and their families to have the best experience possible while residing in a facility. Through participation in the AHRQ Safety Program for Long-Term Care: HAIs/CAUTI we are supporting nursing homes to: adopt evidence-based practices to prevent healthcare-associated infections as well as to learn how to use teamwork and communication tools to improve safety culture in their institutions.” As one of five State Ombudsman Programs in the country selected to participate in this project, the Kentucky State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (KY SLTCOP) began working on the project in December 2015.

Sherry Culp explained, “The KY SLTCOP will assist collaborators in identifying relevant tools and materials needed to educate local long-term care ombudsmen and consumers about healthcare-associated infections. Local ombudsmen in Kentucky will receive training on how to reduce and prevent healthcare-associated infections.” A representative from the KY SLTCOP will present the project at the 2016 Consumer Voice Annual Conference. The project will conclude in August 2016.

“In order to achieve the project goals of improving safety culture and preventing catheter-associated urinary tract infection and other infections, we’ll provide education on technical and cultural interventions. Clinical interventions relative to infection prevention in the long-term care setting will also be explored. Additional information will be provided on how clinical practices influence transitions of care, such as to and from the hospital,” said Jodi Holsclaw, Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman with the SLTCOP. Local ombudsmen who advocate for residents of long-term care will receive extensive training in infection prevention and control and disseminate healthcare-associated infection prevention knowledge and resources to residents and families. The resources will include information on hand hygiene, environment and equipment, isolation precautions and antibiotic stewardship.

The national project is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The AHRQ Safety Program for Long-term Care: HAIs/CAUTI aligns with the Department of Health and Human Services National Action Plan to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections.

About the Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass, Inc.

The Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass, Inc. (NHOA) is an independent, nonprofit agency founded in 1981. Its mission is to improve the quality of care for residents of long-term care facilities. To learn more about NHOA’s services, call(859) 277-9215 or visit http://www.ombuddy.org.