An IP’s Newest Weapon: CBIC's LTC Certification

Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc (CBIC) is debuting a new certification for infection preventionists (IPs) who work in long-term care (LTC) settings.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US, long-term care (LTC) facilities were hit especially hard. Infection preventionists (IPs) were needed more than ever, but knowledge requirements and what the specialized skill entailed varied from one LTC to another. In response to this need for clarification of what IPs should know, Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc (CBIC) is launching a new certification for infection prevention and control professionals who work in long-term care settings.

“The LTC certification will show that an IP will have more insight and competency in infection control.An IP will have an internationally recognized certification in IPC and can demonstrate proficiency in all the various aspects of IPC,” said Carla Lewandowski, LPN told Infection Control Today®. “And since continuing education will be required, the IP will show further dedication to the profession.”

This certification is not the first LTC IP certification, for example, CDC has one on its website; however, a certification from the CBIC will be highly recognized in the IPC profession because of its long-known CIC certification for IPs. Any IPs interested in this certification can sign up for updates here on the CBIC website.

Why should IPs get this certification? The key reason is that LTC facilities could require IPs to take this course to know the required information. This certification can add to the LTC facilities with a full-time IP.Other companies, such as factories, business offices, and even restaurants could have an employee take the certification in the age of COVID-19, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, and Clostridioides difficile.

“The long-term care examination is the standardized measure of the basic knowledge, skills and abilities expected of professionals working in the field of long-term care infection prevention and control,” according to the CBIC website.

Only one section of the content outline that IPs should know include interpreting the relevance of diagnostic, radiologic, procedural, and laboratory reports; identifying appropriate practices for specimen collection, transportation, handling, and storage; and correlating clinical signs, symptoms, and test results to identify possible infectious disease (Figure 1).

CBIC said it will begin accepting applications for the certification in July, with an initial testing period opening in September.

The organization also pointed out that the program supports with the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology’s (APIC’s) call to action last month urging the US health care industry, including long-term care facilities, to strengthen IPC best practices and policies in case of future pandemics.

It also helps fulfill the Code of Federal Regulation for LTC facilities: §483.80 Infection control. “The facility must establish and maintain an infection prevention and control program designed to provide a safe, sanitary, and comfortable environment and to help prevent the development and transmission of communicable diseases and infections” (Figure 2).

“The mission of CBIC is to provide pathways to assess and maintain infection prevention competency, ensuring that Infection Preventionists in specific settings are in possession of the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to serve patient populations,” according to the president’s welcome message on the CBIC website. “This year, CBIC has been taking steps toward fulfilling this mission by exploring a new infection prevention certification for those working in Long-Term Care settings. The Practice Analysis is now complete and test development will continue through 2022, with the goal of the long-term care examination going live in 2023."

ICT® discussed the legislation requiring a full time IP in nursing homes here.