Author: Melissa Schaefer, MD
Medical Officer in CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion
As healthcare professionals, we must recognize our responsibility to protect patients – care should not provide any avenue for the transmission of infections. By working together, we can ensure infection prevention practices are understood and followed by all, during every patient visit. Healthcare continues to transition to settings outside the hospital, and efforts to prevent infections must extend to all settings where patients receive care.
Today, CDC is pleased to present the Guide to Infection Prevention for Outpatient Settings: Minimum Expectations for Safe Care. a summary guide of infection prevention recommendations for outpatient settings. Although these recommendations are not new, this guide is a concise, one-stop resource where ambulatory care providers can quickly find evidence-based guidelines produced by the CDC and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC).
Repeated outbreaks and notification events resulting from unsafe practices highlight the need for better infection prevention across our entire healthcare system, not just in our hospitals. Based primarily upon elements of Standard Precautions, including medical injection safety and reprocessing of reusable medical devices, this guide reminds healthcare providers of the basic infection prevention practices that must be followed to assure safe care.
I urge you to use this guidance document, and the accompanying Infection Prevention Checklist for Outpatient Settings to assess the practices in your facility to assure that patients are receiving the safe care that they expect and deserve.
I also invite you to view our CDC Expert Video Commentary on Medscape titled New Infection Prevention Guidance for Outpatient Settings to learn more about the guidance.