Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more
UPDATE
Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.
UPDATE
The White House announced that vaccines will be required for international travelers coming into the United States, with an effective date of November 8, 2021. For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines. More information is available here.
UPDATE
Travel requirements to enter the United States are changing, starting November 8, 2021. More information is available here.

Frequently Asked Questions about Remote TeleICAR Assessments

Frequently Asked Questions about Remote TeleICAR Assessments
Updated Nov. 20, 2020

At a minimum the facility’s administrator(s) and infection preventionist should be present. The environmental services/housekeeping supervisor should also be present for at least the portion of the assessment involving this domain. Many times, additional healthcare personnel (HCP) such as directors of nursing and assistant directors of nursing will join. During a video tour, assessing frontline HCP knowledge and observing their practices may increase the quality of the assessment and result in more meaningful recommendations for the facility.

The TeleICAR facilitator should be knowledgeable on relevant and current COVID-19 state and federal infection prevention guidance. The facilitator guide tool helps highlight some of relevant CDC guidance to aid in this process. In addition, it is helpful for facilitators to have some knowledge of infection prevention and control in healthcare systems; however, with enough training from more experienced facilitators, even those with limited past background can conduct a TeleICAR.

Ultimately each public health jurisdiction should decide upon a process that works for them. Some factors to consider:

  • Who is responsible for facility outreach? Will this responsibility be shared by all TeleICAR facilitators or just one?
  • How will you introduce the TeleICAR process to facilities? By a phone call? Via email? Having a script that TeleICAR facilitators can use to describe the process and expectations helps ensure a standardized process.
  • Will you be conducting a video tour? How do you ensure the TeleICAR facilitators and the facility have access to and can successfully use the selected video conferencing platform?
  • How will you document the scheduling process such as date(s) of facility contact, date of TeleICAR completion, etc.?

The CDC TeleICAR team can provide more guidance and help with navigating the scheduling process and can be reach at: teleicar@cdc.gov.

This depends upon several factors such as the facility’s baseline infection prevention and control (IPC) practices, the number and type of questions that arise as part of the TeleICAR, and the experience of the TeleICAR facilitator. Most remote TeleICAR assessments using this tool with a video tour take 1.5-2 hours. Despite the length, most facilities are willing to dedicate this time if this expectation is set during the ICAR scheduling process. Additionally, a video tour can be scheduled at a different time if the facility cannot accommodate all sections in one session.

Verbal feedback during the TeleICAR should be provided to both validate recommended practices and provide suggestions for improvements for identified IPC gaps. The facilitator guide, which contains recommended IPC practices, can be used by facilitators to aid in this process. In addition, written feedback following the ICAR summarizing these recommendations can help facilities with the implementation process. The facilitator guide can also be used to compile the appropriate CDC guidance (or modified to reflect state or local jurisdiction guidance) for the facility.

The purpose of any ICAR whether conducted in-person or remotely is to help facilities improve their current IPC practices. Thus the ICAR is just the first step in this improvement process as facilities must still implement the provided recommendations. The amount and type of follow-up support a facility will need during the implementation process will vary. Some facilities with few IPC gaps may require little further follow-up. However, facilities with many IPC gaps will require more follow-up support which may range from remote trainings and repeat assessments to in-person visits. If only a remote TeleICAR was conducted, consideration of an in-person visit to a facility is needed if identified IPC gaps are urgent or serious in nature.

A RedCap database has been created for public health jurisdictions to enter the responses collected by using the ICAR tool. To inquire about access to this database tool, please email: teleicar@cdc.gov.