Infection Prevention and Control Lapse Disclosures
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has directed all public health units to publicly disclose more detailed information on non-routine infection prevention and control (IPAC) lapse investigations where they are identified. An IPAC lapse is a departure from infection prevention and control standards. The result could be infectious disease transmission to patients or staff through exposure to blood or body fluids. An example would be medical equipment that is improperly cleaned and can spread infections from one patient to another. Information about IPAC investigations in HPEPH can be found on our Infection Prevention and Control Lapse reporting page. HPEPH encourages health care providers to review IPAC best practices and resources listed below.
Resources and Best Practices
Infection Control in Institutional Settings
In accordance with the Health Protection and Promotion Act and the Ontario Public Health Standards, Public Health inspectors and nurses work closely with long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, and other institutional settings to prevent or reduce the burden of infectious diseases of public health importance.
Outbreaks occur when the usual incidence of disease in a long-term care or retirement home is exceeded at any given time. Early identification of an outbreak is essential since the implementation of precautions and therapeutic interventions can prevent the spread of infection and decrease the morbidity and mortality of a very frail, compromised population.
For a list of open outbreaks in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties, click here.
TB Screening in Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes
The regulations in the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 and the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 set out requirements with respect to screening for TB. Each resident admitted to the home must be screened for tuberculosis within 14 days of admission unless the resident has already been screened at some time in the 90 days prior to admission and the documented results of the screening are available to the licensee.
The Canadian TB Standards (7th Edition), 2013 – Chapter 15 - provides a summary of recommendations for TB screening and infection prevention and control measures in non-hospital settings.
Note that a TB screening test is not recommended for residents who are over 65 years of age. As people age, the test may become increasingly unreliable and difficult to interpret. In addition, if an elderly individual does convert to a positive result following a TB exposure, prophylaxis is often not possible.
Mandatory Blood Testing Act
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health is required to follow the Mandatory Blood Testing Act (2006) of Ontario.
The Act permits anyone that may have come into contact with blood or body fluids of another person, as a result of being a victim of crime, an emergency service worker, or Good Samaritan (emergency first aid provider), to have the blood of the other person tested. The sample is tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
Diseases of Public Health Significance
Effective May 1, 2018 "Reportable Diseases" are now referred to as "Diseases of Public Health Significance" under the consolidated O.Reg. 135/18 'Designation of Diseases', which replaces O.Reg. 559/91: 'Specification of Reportable Diseases'.
Other notable changes effective May 1, 2018 include the addition of Blastomycosis, Carbapenamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) colonization or infection, and Echinoccoccus multiocularis infection, and the deletion of Malaria and Yellow Fever. "Haemophilus influenza b disease, invasive" has been changed to "Haemophilus influenza disease all types, invasive", and outbreaks in public hospitals are now included in respiratory infection and gastroenteritis outbreaks in institutions.
Diseases of Public Health Significance (DOPHS) must be reported by physicians, laboratories, administrators of hospitals, schools, and institutions to the local Medical Officer of Health (as stated in the Health Protection and Promotion Act). DOPHS can be reported to Hastings Prince Edward Public Health by filling out the Diseases of Public Health Significance and Reporting Form and faxing it to 613-966-1813. Patient consent is not required for reporting this information. The Personal Health Information Protection Act explicitly allows health care providers to disclose information to the local Medical Officer of Health for purposes outlined under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
Case counts of DOPHS in 2017 in Hastings & Prince Edward Counties, along with a 5-year average, can be found in our Communicable Disease Fast Facts report.