California Department of Public Health (CDPH) requires that every facility has a full-time infection preventionist (IP). As per the CDPH AFL 20-85 “Effective January 1, 2021, AB 2644 requires a SNF to have a full-time IP, a role that may be shared by two staff members if the total time dedicated to the IP role is equivalent to one full-time staff member. The IP must be a registered nurse or licensed vocational nurse, and the IP hours cannot be included in the 3.5 direct care service hours per patient day required in a SNF.”
While the lead IP must be a registered nurse or licensed vocational nurse, facilities may consider other alternatives for additional infection prevention positions. For instance, persons holding a master’s degree in public health and epidemiology are more likely to have additional training in epidemiology and program planning than does the average IP.
As per CDPH AFL 20-84, the initial training for IPs should include the following topic areas and be a minimum of 14 hours:
An additional 10 hours of continuing education in the field of IPC are also required as per CDPH AFL 20-84, on an annual basis.
The following infection prevention trainings (≥ 14 hours) has been approved by CDPH for the initial training of the IP:
In reference to CDPH AFL 20-84: “Facilities should provide encouragement and support for IP staff to stay abreast of current news and training sources through a nationally recognized infection prevention and control association.” Facilities should encourage their IP staff to get involved and attend meetings of their local Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) Chapter.