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Nursing Home Place in Immediate Jeopardy for Failure to Fit Test N95 Masks

In a survey completed in February 2021 of a nursing home in California the survey team cited the nursing home with F-Tag F 880 and placed the facility in immediate jeopardy after the survey revealed that the nursing home’s director of staff development (DSD) was wearing a loose-fitting N95 facemask.

The surveyed team followed up on this issue by interviewing the DSD about the facility’s mask policy. During the interview, the DSD stated that most of the facility’s staff wore N95 facemasks that were not fit tested for the correct size and model. The DSD said that she was not aware of the need to fit test staff members for correct N95 facemasks during a COVID-19 outbreak at the facility which began in November 2020.

However, California’s Department of Public Health's Health Officer Order for Control of COVID-19 issued on 11/24/2020; OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134); and AFL 20-87.1 all require healthcare workers to have an initial respirator fit test to identify the right model, style, and size for each worker. The California nursing home had clearly violated these rules and regulations, resulting in an immediate jeopardy finding.

As this case demonstrates, something as simple as failing to check to see if N95 masks fit correctly can have enormous consequences for nursing homes and other skilled nursing facilities. That’s one reason why we here at Clearpol developed software, as it gives healthcare professionals the tools they need to stay in compliance with the vast, ever-changing healthcare regulatory landscape.

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