Background: Certain nursing home (NH) resident care tasks have a higher risk for multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO) transfer to healthcare personnel (HCP), which can result in transmission to residents if HCPs fail to perform recommended infection prevention practices. However, data on HCP-resident interactions are limited and do not account for intrafacility practice variation. Understanding differences in interactions, by HCP role and unit, is important for informing MDRO prevention strategies in NHs. Methods: In 2019, we conducted serial intercept interviews; each HCP was interviewed 6–7 times for the duration of a unit’s dayshift at 20 NHs in 7 states. The next day, staff on a second unit within the facility were interviewed during the dayshift. HCP on 38 units were interviewed to identify healthcare personnel (HCP)–resident care patterns. All unit staff were eligible for interviews, including certified nursing assistants (CNAs), nurses, physical or occupational therapists, physicians, midlevel practitioners, and respiratory therapists. HCP were asked to list which residents they had cared for (within resident rooms or common areas) since the prior interview. Respondents selected from 14 care tasks. We classified units into 1 of 4 types: long-term, mixed, short stay or rehabilitation, or ventilator or skilled nursing. Interactions were classified based on the risk of HCP contamination after task performance. We compared proportions of interactions associated with each HCP role and performed clustered linear regression to determine the effect of unit type and HCP role on the number of unique task types performed per interaction. Results: Intercept-interviews described 7,050 interactions and 13,843 care tasks. Except in ventilator or skilled nursing units, CNAs have the greatest proportion of care interactions (interfacility range, 50%–60%) (Fig. 1). In ventilator and skilled nursing units, interactions are evenly shared between CNAs and nurses (43% and 47%, respectively). On average, CNAs in ventilator and skilled nursing units perform the most unique task types (2.5 task types per interaction, Fig. 2) compared to other unit types (P < .05). Compared to CNAs, most other HCP types had significantly fewer task types (0.6–1.4 task types per interaction, P < .001). Across all facilities, 45.6% of interactions included tasks that were higher-risk for HCP contamination (eg, transferring, wound and device care, Fig. 3). Conclusions: Focusing infection prevention education efforts on CNAs may be most efficient for preventing MDRO transmission within NH because CNAs have the most HCP–resident interactions and complete more tasks per visit. Studies of HCP-resident interactions are critical to improving understanding of transmission mechanisms as well as target MDRO prevention interventions.
Funding: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (grant no. U01CK000555-01-00)
Disclosures: Scott Fridkin, consulting fee, vaccine industry (spouse)