The global pandemic has shone a light on the unique challenges in Canada’s long-term care (LTC) sector. Recognizing the important role of standards and the guidelines and best practices they provide, in May 2021, CSA Group and Health Standards Organization were called upon by the Standards Council of Canada to develop national standards for LTC homes. Following a 21-month development process, CSA Group has recently published the new standard CSA Z8004:22, Long-term care home operations and infection prevention and control, which aims to help create better and safer LTC homes.
What is covered in the Standard
While the Standard was developed by CSA Group members – experts from different areas representing various stakeholders, it was informed by insights and experiences of LTC homes residents, their families, communities, caregivers, and staff.
The CSA Z8004:22 standard is divided into clauses covering topics such as organizational commitments, operations of LTC homes, their design and building systems, including plumbing and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, infection prevention and control (IPAC) in LTC homes, or information technology.
Focus on environmental services and IPAC
From the perspective of facility cleaning and maintenance, several sections of the standards include requirements and recommendations to help ensure LTC home premises provide a clean and sanitary environment for their residents, visitors, and staff. For example, LTC homes are guided to develop cleaning policies and procedures, pest control programs, internal and external maintenance of building components and systems or to engage transdisciplinary assessment teams on proper waste management operations.
One of the clauses of the standards is focused specifically on IPAC, encouraging LTC homes to develop and implement IPAC programs based on best practices, guidelines, and recommendations from national and international authorities and the scientific literature. The Standard guides LTC homes through the development and implementation of cleaning and disinfection policies and procedures, as well as the selection of cleaning and disinfection products. The Standard also addresses cleaning and disinfection of residents’ rooms, washrooms in LTC facilities, kitchen and dining areas, and equipment, as well as laundry services.
Helping stakeholders understand the requirements of the Standard
To help LTC homes administrators, staff, and other stakeholders better understand the requirements and recommendations of the Standard and how to apply them in day-to-day activities, CSA Group developed a set of online courses for:
This self-directed course helps participants gain a better understanding of the fundamental policies and procedures for the operations of LTC homes. It also highlights leading practices for transdisciplinary assessment teams and contingency planning in LTC settings.
This instructor-led course discusses the fundamental concepts of IPAC in LTC homes and outlines cleaning and disinfection requirements and appropriate product selection and use. Participants can also learn how to utilize risk assessment methods to determine the hazards associated with LTC homes and the appropriate IPAC measures required to ensure staff and patient safety while balancing the right to live with risk.
This online course aims to help frontline workers, clinical and residential staff in LTC facilities, as well as caregivers and family members build positive relations within and outside of LTC homes and apply the principles of person-centered care in design, operations, and IPAC of LTC homes.
For more information on the new standard CSA Z8004 and training related to LTC homes, visit CSA Group’s website.
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