Health screening for ALR staff
Time and time again we hear from ALRs who are being cited for being out of compliance with staff healthcare screening requirements. This issue is without a doubt within the top 10 citations that facilities receive. Why? You may ask. Well, typically it is because there is no process set up for how to track the employees who need their required biennial health assessments or due to being short staffed and not waiting for the results of the screening process which leads to the file being put away and not reviewed until an inspector asks for it. Do not be that facility. Put a process together and ensure your compliance with the following regulation provided by DOEA:
(8) Health Screening Requirements.
(a) No person shall be permitted to work in a Residence if infected with a contagious disease in a communicable form that could endanger the health of residents or other employees. The Residence shall maintain accurate records of illnesses and associated incidents involving staff as part of its Communicable Disease Control Plan pursuant to 651 CMR 12.04(12), and submit an incident report pursuant to 651 CMR 12.04(11)(d) as is appropriate.
(b) All persons working in a Residence shall complete a pre-employment physical examination, including an assessment for tuberculosis, and shall submit evidence that they have completed a periodic physical examination at least every two years.
(c) Subject to the provisions of 651 CMR 12.06(8)(e), each Residence shall ensure that all persons working in the Residence are vaccinated annually with seasonal influenza vaccine, inactivated or live, or an attenuated influenza vaccine, including a seasonal influenza vaccine. Each Residence shall provide all staff with information about the risks and benefits of influenza vaccine.
(d) Subject to the provisions of 651 CMR 12.06(8)(e), each Residence shall ensure all personnel are vaccinated against other novel pandemic or novel influenza virus(es) in accordance with guidelines issued by the Commissioner of Department of Public Health.
(e) A Residence shall not require an employee to receive an influenza vaccine if:
- the vaccine is medically contraindicated, which means administration of an influenza vaccine to that individual would likely be detrimental to the individual’s health;
- vaccination is against the individual’s religious beliefs; or
- the individual declines the vaccine. An individual who declines vaccination for any reason shall sign a statement certifying he or she received information about the risks and benefits of influenza vaccine and such statement shall be maintained by the Residence.
(f) A Residence shall require and maintain for each employee proof of current vaccination pursuant to 651 CMR 12.06(8)(c) and (d), or the individual’s declination statement pursuant to 651 CMR 12.06(8)(e). Such information shall be made available for review by EOEA during a Compliance Review pursuant to 651 CMR 12.09.