More than 1.5 million residents reside in US nursing homes. In recent years, the acuity of illness of nursing home residents has increased. Long-term-care facility residents have a risk of developing nosocomial infection that is similar to acute-care hospital patients. A great deal of information has been published concerning infections in the long-term-care facility, and infection control programs are nearly universal.
This position paper reviews the literature on infections and infection control programs in the long-term-care facility, covering such topics as tuberculosis, bloodborne pathogens, epidemics, isolation systems, immunization, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Recommendations are developed for long-term-care infection control programs based on interpretation of currently available evidence. The recommendations cover the structure and function of the infection control program, including surveillance, isolation, outbreak control, resident care, and employee health. Infection control resources also are presented.