As seen in McKnight's article, CMS: Educate, vaccinate and be ready to prove it, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will start enforcing their Interim Final Rule for COVID-19 Vaccination the week of June 14. Officially effective May 17, CMS is motivated to get staff vaccination rates up to 75 percent. Here's what's expected for both residents and staff.
- Offer COVID-19 vaccines
- Educate on COVID-19 and document efforts
- Report COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutic treatments each week to the National Health and Safety Network (NHSN)
The data collected will also be posted on the agency’s COVID-19 Nursing Home Data website as soon as possible, likely in mid-June.
Said Evan Shulman, CMS’ director for its Division of Nursing Homes, "For starters, let’s remember that the intent of this is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible." He continued, "So, we will likely start prioritizing those individuals who are not vaccinated and start asking them how they were educated and if they were offered the vaccine.”
In other words, your first priority should be reporting who has received the vaccination, as those who aren't even achieving that goal are likely to be targeted first for audits. Next up, make meaningful attempts to educate residents and staff on vaccine safety – and track these efforts. Following are some educational resources that may be of help.
Webinars & Training
- COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring - World Health Organization (WHO)
- AHA’s Newest COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence Resources Include Video, Webinar and Infographic - American Hospital Association (AHA)
- COVID-19 Vaccination in Long-Term Care: Safety, Efficacy, and Residents’ Rights - NursingHome411.org
- Vaccination for COVID-19 QuickPATH - Pathway Health
- Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe? - National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- 9 COVID-19 Myths Debunked - Cleveland Clinic
- Your COVID-19 vaccine questions answered - Mayo Clinic
- COVID-19 Vaccines: How Do We Know They Are Safe? - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Resources
- Tips for Building Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccines Among Patients
- COVID-19 Vaccination Communication Toolkit
- COVID-19 Vaccination Training Programs and Reference Materials
- Importance of COVID-19 Vaccination for Healthcare Personnel
- Invest in Trust: A Guide for Building COVID-19 Vaccine Trust and Increasing Vaccination Rates Among CNAs- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
- Patient education: COVID-19 vaccines - UpToDate.com Doctor Team
- COVID-19 vaccines: Get the facts (Q&A) – Mayo Clinic
In related news, long-term advocates encourage senior living caregivers to begin planning for the possibility of giving COVID-19 boosters. If you don't already have a good grip on vaccination tracking, know that technology can help. Our primeVIEW facility dashboard now has the ability to track which residents have received COVID-19 vaccinations.