Did you know that the CDC has changed its recommendations on TB screening?
The CDC released updated recommendations for TB screening, testing, and treatment of health care personnel on May 17, 2019.
Healthcare workers that have tested negatively for TB do not need to go through testing annually, unless recommended for individual reasons or individual state guidelines. Instead, they should be educated and understand symptoms and risk of exposure, as well as reporting requirements.
What you need to know:
All staff should be screened for TB initially. Screening should occur upon hire. Baseline screening includes an initial TB risk assessment, testing, and symptoms review to determine baseline status. Those with a latent TB infection (LBTI) should also be screened for symptoms annually, and everyone should be referred for additional assessment if needed. A baseline chest x-ray to confirm no active disease is also still recommended for those who test positive.
Why the change?
Per the CDC, transmission rates have decreased dramatically in the US since 1991 (73%), and even though historically, health care workers were at higher risk, studies have indicated that the risk now is no different than with the general population.
What hasn’t changed?
You will still need to include your TB Plan as part of your Infection Control Program, that outlines your screening processes, exposure response, education, training, and reporting plan.
Additional State Requirements:
Your state may have additional state TB requirements for both screening and reporting. Use this link to learn about your state or local TB control program.
Per the CDC, education should include TB risk factors, the signs and symptoms of TB, and TB infection control policies and procedures. Want to access our TB education for free? Use the coupon code “weloveyou” here Tuberculosis Prevention in the ASC Course
Want to learn more?
You can find information and resources for the new recommendations on the CDC website here. https://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/infectioncontrol/healthcarepersonnel-faq.htm