CDC Project Firstline logo

The federal government has launched a national training program on infection prevention and control that specifically targets frontline healthcare workers and could supplement senior living community offerings, industry representatives say.

Project Firstline delivers core training through 10-minute interactive videos that address immediate workforce infection control. Tools include templates, sample letters, posters and signage to help all employees implement infection control protocols throughout the work day. The program also provides local healthcare mentors to serve as an ongoing resource for community-level infection control experts. 

An infection prevention and control assessment tool, which can be relevant for assisted living community and nursing homes, according to the program, looks at visitor restriction, personal protective equipment, adherence to infection prevention and control practices, hand hygiene, communication with health departments and facilities, and education, monitoring and screening of employees and residents. 

“Project Firstline’s innovative content is designed so that regardless of a healthcare worker’s previous training or education background, they can understand and confidently apply the infection control principles and protocols necessary to protect themselves, their facility, their family and their community from infectious disease threats, such as COVID-19,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC is developing the trainings with a coalition of academic and public health and healthcare partners, as well as 64 state, local and territorial health departments. Some of those partners include the American Medical Association, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Emory University and the National Network of Public Health Institutes.

Argentum President and CEO James Balda said he appreciates the CDC’s attention to the importance of infection control and encourages senior living staff members to take advantage of the trainings to supplement what they already receive at their own communities.

Balda also pointed out that Arguntum has been working with clinical experts on advisory councils and task forces on quality improvement and resident safety.

“These experts have taken the lead in developing guidance specifically targeted to senior living, and they continue to work on critical information related to infection prevention and control, resident engagement, testing and vaccines,” he said. “The sharing of experiences we’ve seen among industry professionals has been invaluable in building consensus around practices that can be adopted across the industry.”