Infection Control and Corporate Compliance Issues

GOAL: To understand Infection Control and explain Corporate Compliance issues as they relate to the Volunteer job description.

OBJECTIVES: Upon completion of this session, the Volunteer will:

  • Understand the Volunteer job description as it relates to limits of care.
  • Understand the role of Infection Control in Home Care.
  • Be aware of the infection control policy and universal precautions.
  • Describe potential risk of exposure to tuberculosis and reason for initial screening.
  • Demonstrate proper hand washing technique.
  • Understand Home Health & Hospice Care’s Standards of Conduct as they relate to Corporate Compliance.

Universal Precautions
"Universal precautions," as defined by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are a set of precautions designed to prevent transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and other bloodborne pathogens when providing first aid or health care. Under universal precautions, blood and certain body fluids of all patients are considered potentially infectious for HIV, HBV and other bloodborne pathogens.

To read more details, visit the CDC website.

The Importance of Hand Washing
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hand washing or use of alcohol-based hand rubs has been shown to reduce overall infection rates.

As an alternative to traditional hand washing with soap and water, the Centers for Disease Control is recommending the use of waterless (alcohol-based) hand rubs by healthcare professionals for hand hygiene.

Wash your hands with plain soap and water; or with antimicrobial soap and water if:

  • your hands are visibly soiled (dirty)
  • hands are visibly contaminated with blood or body fluids
  • before eating
  • after using the restroom
  • wash all surfaces thoroughly -- fingers, between fingers, palms, wrists, back of hands

Use a waterless hand-rub for routinely cleaning your hands:

  • before having direct contact with patients
  • after having direct contact with a patient’s skin
  • after having contact with body fluids, wounds or broken skin
  • after touching equipment or furniture near the patient
  • after removing gloves
  • Do not use an waterless hand-rub when hands are visibly soiled or contaminated with blood or body fluids.

According to the Center for Disease Control, waterless hand rubs significantly reduce the number of microorganisms on skin, are fast acting and cause less skin irritation. When using waterless (alcohol-based) rubs, apply product to the palm of one hand and rub hands together, covering all surfaces of hands and fingers, until hands are dry. Waterless hand rubs are well suited for hygienic hand disinfection for the following reasons:

  • optimal antimicrobial spectrum (active against all bacteria and most clinically important viruses, yeasts, and fungi)
  • no wash basin necessary for use and easy availability at bedside
  • no microbial contamination of health-care workers' clothing
  • rapidity of action.

More than 20 published studies prove alcohol-based hand rubs are more effective than soap in reducing the number of bacteria on hands. Waterless hand rubs contain skin conditioners (emollients) that help prevent drying effects. Nurses who routinely cleaned their hands between patients by using a modern alcohol-based hand rub had less skin irritation and dryness than nurses who washed their hands with soap and water.

This information on handwashing was provided by St. Mary Medical Center, Langhorne, PA. Read the rest of the article to learn more about handwashing effectiveness and multi-drug resistant infections such as MRSA.

Standards of Conduct
The Standards of Conduct are the ethical principles of the agency. They help to ensure that we maintain compliance for all of our various regulatory standards.

The staff of Home Health & Hospice Care are committed to providing quality, comprehensive health care to all clients. We are committed to supporting our mission and beliefs in our daily work performance. The Standards of Conduct have been drafted to guide employees in adhering to HHHC values during employment. The Standards of Conduct reflect policies HHHC has addressed to meet ethical and legal compliance. All employees and volunteers are expected to perform their duties honestly, responsibly, and in conformity with the Standards of Conduct. All employees are responsible for reporting any violations of these Standards to the Corporate Compliance Officer. Violations of the Standards of Conduct will lead to disciplinary action, suspension, or termination from employment at HHHC.

As part of your volunteer file, you commit to follow these standards of conduct:

Quality Care
  • I am committed to providing patients and families with high quality care. I will not discriminate based on disability, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, age, or marital status.
  • I am responsible for informing clients of their rights and responsibilities. I will support them in evaluating their care.
  • I am responsible for protecting each client’s right of confidentiality in medical records and information.

Fiscal Responsibilities

  • I am committed to maintaining honesty in all billing and documentation activities.
  • I will never falsify any billing or medical record information.
  • I am committed to providing accurate information about services in all marketing and public information statements.

Laws and Regulations

  • I am committed to observing laws, regulations, and professional standards that govern Home Health Care Agencies. (e.g.: IRS, Medicare, OSHA and HIPAA).
  • I understand fraud, abuse, theft, bribes, and kickbacks are examples of violations of law and will not be tolerated.
  • I will work together with other provider agencies to collaborate honestly to meet health care need of patients effectively.

Human Resources

  • I am committed to HHHC being an equal opportunity employer for all staff and will not participate in any discrimination or harassment.
  • I am responsible for my ongoing professional competence through continuing education.
  • I am responsible for seeking guidance regarding any conflict of interest or loyalty that I recognize.

Safe Work Environment

  • I am committed to an alcohol, drug, and violence free work environment.
  • I will follow risk management policies on reporting injuries.
  • I am committed to protecting agency and clients’ property.


Additional Links

Recommended Library Resources

  • Video: The Home Care Companion, Volume 3: Creating healthy home care conditions: Infection Control