Adherence to standard infection prevention practices may be lacking in many outpatient settings (for an example, see “EIN Update” in this issue). To address this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a new, concise guide and checklist for providers.
The Guide to Infection Prevention for Outpatient Settings: Minimum Expectations for Safe Care is based on existing, evidence-based CDC guidelines that are widely used in hospitals. The guide includes supporting materials such as a free continuing medical education course on unsafe injection practices.
According to the guide, outpatient facilities and practices should:
- Develop and maintain infection prevention and occupational health programs
- Ensure that at least one individual with training in infection control is employed by or regularly available to the facility. This person should be responsible for overseeing the facility's infection prevention program.
- Develop written infection-prevention policies and procedures appropriate for the services provided by the facility and based upon evidence-based guidelines, regulations, or standards
- Provide job- or task-specific infection prevention education and training to all health care personnel
- Make sure sufficient and appropriate supplies necessary for adherence to standard precautions are available
- Perform regular audits and competency evaluations of staff's adherence to infection prevention practices
- Utilize CDC's infection prevention checklist for outpatient settings to assess infection control practices
- Adhere to local, state, and federal requirements regarding surveillance of health care-associated infections, reportable diseases, and outbreak reporting
The guide, checklist, and supporting materials can be found on the CDC website.
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