Moving Toward Safer Outpatient Care: CDC Releases Guide for Preventing Infections

Posted on by CDC's Safe Healthcare Blog
Melissa Schaefer, MD
Melissa Schaefer, MD

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.

Melissa Schaefer, MDI 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.

Posted on by CDC's Safe Healthcare Blog

8 comments on “Moving Toward Safer Outpatient Care: CDC Releases Guide for Preventing Infections”

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    I think healthcare professionals can meet the needs and can satisfies the elder people.Thank you for sharing the information.

    The Guidelines are a big step forward in reducing/eliminating health care associated infections. But out patient care now happens in all kinds of settings, including nursing homes and home health care. What steps are being taken to ensure that the guidelines will be followed by everyone? And, What is being done to ensure everyone is well trained in the Guidelines and there use? Injections and IVs can be used by home health care nurses on patients; while things like catheter changing, catheter sack changing, and feeding tube cleaning could be done by In-Home Support Services workers–who are many times a parent or child of the IHSS client; for developmentally disabled persons in California, such services, when needed, could be done by independent living program staff, supported living staff, group home staff, and specialized staff at the workshops. So while the Guidelines are a huge step forward, the next step, and maybe the toughest, will be how to make sure everyone is following the Guidelines. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

    Thanks for the useful information! I have reviewed your Safe Healthcare blog carefully. I will apply this service in my center.


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Page last reviewed: July 21, 2011
Page last updated: July 21, 2011