The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new, concise guide and checklist to protect patients and help educate clinicians about minimum expectations of safe care in outpatient settings.
Studies found out that adherence to standard infection prevention practices in these settings is lacking, hence, the new guide. Outpatient care settings such as endoscopy clinics, surgery centers, primary care offices, and pain management clinics will benefit greatly from these guidelines.
“Patients deserve the same basic levels of protection in a hospital or any other health care setting,” said Michael Bell, M.D., deputy director of CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. “Failure to follow standard precautions, such as correct injection practices, cannot be tolerated. Repeated outbreaks resulting from unsafe practices, along with breaches of infection control noted in ambulatory surgical centers during inspections by the Centers for Medicare and MedicaidExternal Web Site Icon, indicate the need for better infection prevention across our entire health care system, including outpatient settings.”
These new Infection Prevention Guide for Safe Outpatient Care reinforce that health care personnel should always:
- Follow procedures for the safe handling of potentially contaminated medical equipment
- Ensure safe medical injection practices are followed
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 HAI surveillance, reportable diseases, and outbreak reporting
Check more about this guide here.