Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare
Guidance released March 10, 2021 regarding Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination | CDC affects only select elements of the current Nursing Home ICAR tool until an updated version of the tool is available. Please reference this guidance when using the ICAR tool to ensure alignment with updated considerations for COVID-19 vaccination status (e.g., visitation, HCP work restriction, resident quarantine).
Infection Control Assessment and Response (ICAR) tools are used to systematically assess a healthcare facility’s infection prevention and control (IPC) practices and guide quality improvement activities (e.g., by addressing identified gaps).
This tool is an update to the previous ICAR tool for nursing homes preparing for COVID-19. Notable changes as of November 20, 2020 include:
- Additions to reflect updated guidance such as SARS-CoV-2 testing in nursing homes
- Increased emphasis on the review of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) use and handling
- Addition of sections to help guide a video tour as part of a remote TeleICAR assessment or in-person tour of a nursing home
- Addition of an accompanying facilitator guide to aide with the conduction of the ICAR and create subsequent recommendations for the facility
This updated ICAR tool is a longer but more comprehensive assessment of infection control practices within nursing homes. Due to the addition of example recommendations to aid the facilitator during the process of conducting an ICAR, the facilitator guide version of the tool appears even longer. Facilitators may decide whether to use the tool in its entirety or select among the pool of questions that best fit their jurisdictional needs and priorities as part of quality improvement efforts.
Related Infection Prevention and Control Assessment and Response Tools (ICAR):
- Nursing Home ICAR Facilitator Guide
- Nursing Home ICAR Non-Facilitator Guide
- Nursing Home ICAR Section 1: Facility Demographics and Critical Infrastructure
- Nursing Home ICAR Frequently Asked Questions
Briggs has posted the above 4 ICAR tools on our COVID-19 Free Resources website.