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Basic Infection Control and Prevention Plan for Outpatient Oncology Settings guideline coverBasic Infection Control and Prevention Plan for Outpatient Oncology Settings

Download the complete Basic Infection Control and Prevention Plan for Outpatient Oncology Settings [PDF - 522 KB]

V. Transmission-Based Precautions

In addition to consistent use of Standard Precautions, additional precautions may be warranted in certain situations as described below.

A.  Identifying Potentially Infectious Patients

  • Facility staff remain alert for any patient arriving with symptoms of an active infection (e.g., diarrhea, rash, respiratory symptoms, draining wounds or skin lesions)
  • If patient calls ahead:
    • Have patients with symptoms of active infection come at a time when the facility is less crowded, if possible
    • Alert registration staff ahead of time to place the patient in a private exam room upon arrival if available and follow the procedures pertinent to the route of transmission as specified below
    • If the purpose of the visit is non-urgent, patients are encouraged to reschedule the appointment until symptoms have resolved

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B.  Contact Precautions

  • Apply to patients with any of the following conditions and/or disease:
    • Presence of stool incontinence (may include patients with norovirus, rotavirus, or Clostridium difficile), draining wounds, uncontrolled secretions, pressure ulcers, or presence of ostomy tubes and/or bags draining body fluids
    • Presence of generalized rash or exanthems
  • Prioritize placement of patients in an exam room if they have stool incontinence, draining wounds and/or skin lesions that cannot be covered, or uncontrolled secretions
  • Perform hand hygiene before touching patient and prior to wearing gloves
  • PPE use:
    • Wear gloves when touching the patient and the patient’s immediate environment or belongings
    • Wear a gown if substantial contact with the patient or their environment is anticipated
  • Perform hand hygiene after removal of PPE; note: use soap and water when hands are visibly soiled (e.g., blood, body fluids), or after caring for patients with known or suspected infectious diarrhea (e.g., Clostridium difficile, norovirus)
  • Clean/disinfect the exam room accordingly (refer to Section IV.F.4.)
  • Instruct patients with known or suspected infectious diarrhea to use a separate bathroom, if available; clean/disinfect the bathroom before it can be used again (refer to Section IV.F.5. for bathroom cleaning/disinfection)

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C.  Droplet Precautions

  • Apply to patients known or suspected to be infected with a pathogen that can be transmitted by droplet route; these include, but are not limited to:
    • Respiratory viruses (e.g., influenza, parainfluenza virus, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, human metapneumovirus)
    • Bordetella pertusis
    • For first 24 hours of therapy: Neisseria meningitides, group A streptococcus
  • Place the patient in an exam room with a closed door as soon as possible (prioritize patients who have excessive cough and sputum production); if an exam room is not available, the patient is provided a facemask and placed in a separate area as far from other patients as possible while awaiting care.
  • PPE use:
    • Wear a facemask, such as a procedure or surgical mask, for close contact with the patient; the facemask should be donned upon entering the exam room
    • If substantial spraying of respiratory fluids is anticipated, gloves and gown as well as goggles (or face shield in place of goggles) should be worn
  • Perform hand hygiene before and after touching the patient and after contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects/materials; note: use soap and water when hands are visibly soiled (e.g., blood, body fluids)
  • Instruct patient to wear a facemask when exiting the exam room, avoid coming into close contact with other patients, and practice respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette
  • Clean and disinfect the exam room accordingly (refer to Section IV.F.4.)

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D.  Airborne Precautions

  • Apply to patients known or suspected to be infected with a pathogen that can be transmitted by airborne route; these include, but are not limited to:
    • Tuberculosis
    • Measles
    • Chickenpox (until lesions are crusted over)
    • Localized (in immunocompromised patient) or disseminated herpes zoster (until lesions are crusted over)
  • Have patient enter through a separate entrance to the facility (e.g., dedicated isolation entrance), if available, to avoid the reception and registration area
  • Place the patient immediately in an airborne infection isolation room (AIIR)
  • If an AIIR is not available:
    • Provide a facemask (e.g., procedure or surgical mask) to the patient and place the patient immediately in an exam room with a closed door
    • Instruct the patient to keep the facemask on while in the exam room, if possible, and to change the mask if it becomes wet
    • Initiate protocol to transfer patient to a healthcare facility that has the recommended infection-control capacity to properly manage the patient
  • PPE use:
    • Wear a fit-tested N-95 or higher level disposable respirator, if available, when caring for the patient; the respirator should be donned prior to room entry and removed after exiting room
    • If substantial spraying of respiratory fluids is anticipated, gloves and gown as well as goggles or face shield should be worn
  • Perform hand hygiene before and after touching the patient and after contact with respiratory secretions and/or body fluids and contaminated objects/materials; note: use soap and water when hands are visibly soiled (e.g., blood, body fluids)
  • Instruct patient to wear a facemask when exiting the exam room, avoid coming into close contact with other patients , and practice respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette
    • Once the patient leaves, the exam room should remain vacant for generally one hour before anyone enters; however, adequate wait time may vary depending on the ventilation rate of the room and should be determined accordingly*
  • If staff must enter the room during the wait time, they are required to use respiratory protection

*Francis J. Curry National Tuberculosis Center, FAQ: “How long does it take to clear the air in an isolation or high-risk procedure room?” [PDF - 461 KB]

CDC 2007 Guideline for Isolation Precautions

CDC Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Health-Care Settings, 2005 [PDF - 1.80 MB]

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