Pennsylvania long-term care facilities report respiratory tract infections, including influenza, to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority through its Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System.
The similarity illustrated below in statewide and national influenza trends reinforces the need for continued preventative measures that protect residents in a long-term care facility from influenza when the incidence in the community is unusually large. For example, long-term care facilities may consider screening visitors for respiratory illness before or during a visit, then provide just-in-time education about respiratory etiquette, mask use, and hand hygiene.
long-term care facilities may wish to consider include placing signage and providing materials such as masks, hand sanitizer, and tissues at entrances, which could help protect residents from illness and heighten awareness of visitors about their impact on the health of residents. Resident education and their use of respiratory etiquette, as well as appropriate use of isolation, could be areas of focus.
The incidence of influenza in January 2016 as compared to January 2015 was lower in terms of LRTI rates (Figure 1), likely because of the influence of annual and seasonal variability. The rate of influenza has a temporal association with the rate of pneumonia within this population of patients. CDC FluView data (Figures 2 and 3) show the national impact of influenza by week. When data in these figures is combined to equate to calendar year 2016, in terms of trends, the resulting national laboratory data is similar epidemiologically with Pennsylvania event reports through PA-PSRS in 2016 (Figure 4).
Figure 1. Lower Respiratory Tract Infection (LRTI) Rates, by Criteria Definition and Month, 2015 versus 2016
Figure 2. CDC FluView by Week, 2015–2016
Source: From Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Influenza positive tests reported to CDC by US public health laboratories, national summary, 2015–2016, week ending Oct 01, 2016 [online]. [cited 2017 Mar 26].
Figure 3. CDC FluView by Week, 2016-2017
Source: From Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Influenza positive tests reported to CDC by US public health laboratories, national summary, 2016–2017, week ending Mar 18, 2017 [online]. [cited 2017 Mar 26].
Figure 4. Influenza Reports, by Care Unit and Month, 2016
Excerpted from: Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority. 2016 Annual Report. 2016 Apr 28 [cited 2017 Jun 7]. http://patientsafety.pa.gov/PatientSafetyAuthority/Pages/annual_report_2016.aspx