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CDC releases guide to infection prevention in outpatient settings
The CDC has released a
Guide to Infection Prevention in Outpatient Settings: Minimum Expectations for Safe Care.
The transition of healthcare from acute care hospitals to outpatient (ambulatory care settings), along with ongoing outbreaks associated with breakdowns in basic infection prevention, such as the reuse of syringes, has prompted the need for this guidance.
Three-quarters of all operations in the United States are performed on an outpatient basis, and more than 1 million cancer patients receive outpatient chemotherapy, radiation therapy or both. It is critical that all of this care be provided under conditions that minimize or eliminate risks of healthcare-associated infections.
Guide developed from existing CDC-HICPAC recommendations
The new guide distills existing infection prevention guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC)
recommendations and provides links to
and source documents for more detailed background and recommendations. Specific sections are devoted to resources needed, staff education and training, monitoring and reporting of HAIs, as well as adherence to standard precautions including hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, injection safety, and cleaning and disinfection of environment and medical equipment.
Injection safety highlighted
A section of the guide is devoted to injection safety practices to prevent transmission of infectious diseases between patients and between patients and healthcare providers during preparation and administration of parenteral medications. For example, the guide urges use of safety devices to reduce sharps injuries to workers and safer practices to prevent harm to patients, including caution to never use the same syringe for multiple patients, never reuse a syringe to enter a medication vial or solution, never use a single-dose vial for more than one patient, and never use IV fluid or tubing for more than one patient.
FDA, CMS and TJC reinforce need for safe injection practices
Representatives from the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and The Joint Commission, along with 200 public and private stakeholders, highlighted the need for safe injection practices at an
sponsored by the Premier healthcare alliance in collaboration with the Safe Injection Practices Coalition held on April 26, 2011. Safe injection
developed by the stakeholders included strategies to increase adherence to clinical best practices, surveillance, innovative product designs, and targeted provider and patient education and empowerment.
Premier Safety Institute website for tools and resources on injection safety.