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In Outpatient Settings

Guide to Infection Prevention

The transition of healthcare delivery from acute care hospitals to ambulatory care settings, along with ongoing outbreaks and patient notification events, have demonstrated the need for greater understanding and implementation of basic infection prevention guidance. Guide to Infection Prevention in Outpatient Settings: Minimum Expectations for Safe Care includes an Infection Prevention Checklist (Appendix A), and distills existing infection prevention guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC).

Infection Prevention Guide

Guide to Infection Prevention for Outpatient Settings: Minimum Expectations for Safe Care
This summary guide and companion checklist (Appendix A)describes infection prevention recommendations for outpatient (ambulatory care) settings.

The Infection Prevention Checklist for Outpatient Settings (Appendix A) should be used for two purposes:

  1. To ensure that the facility has appropriate infection prevention policies and procedures in place and supplies to allow healthcare personnel to provide safe care.
  2. To systematically assess infection prevention practices of individual healthcare personnel.

Outpatient Policy Options

The Outpatient Settings Policy Options document and accompanying worksheet [PDF - 75 KB] are designed to assist state, local, and territorial health departments and policymakers to assess current outpatient policies and consider options for improving practices.  The document outlines four key elements recommended by the workgroup and reflect CDC, workgroup membership, and health department experience with healthcare-related outbreaks and quality improvement. Each section contains:

  • An explanation of the element and its components
  • Sample scenarios highlighting the need for effective practices or strategies
  • Potential program improvement options
  • Examples of existing policies representative of the elements
  • Aids designed to help identify gaps and pursue potential solutions

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Outpatient Oncology Settings

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

This document has been developed for outpatient oncology facilities to serve as a model for a basic infection control and prevention plan. It contains policies and procedures tailored to these settings to meet minimal expectations of patient protections as described in the CDC Guide to Infection Prevention in Outpatient Settings. The elements in this document are based on CDC’s evidence-based guidelines and guidelines from professional societies (e.g., Oncology Nursing Society).

For more information and tools to help oncology health care providers standardize and improve infection control and prevention practices, please visit Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients Information for Health Care Providers.

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CDC Resources

CDC has numerous resources to assist clinicians in delivering safe care. Please visit:

Continuing Medical Education

Joseph Perz, DrPH, MA

New! Strategies for Improving Infection Control During Cancer Care CME/CE No-cost continuing medical educational course for physicians and nurses on Medscape


CDC Unsafe Injection Practices: Outbreaks, Incidents, and Root Causes no-cost continuing medical education course on Medscape


CDC Expert Commentary

Joseph Perz, DrPH, MA

Keeping Patients Safe From Infection in Outpatient Settings:
Author: Joseph Perz, DrPH, MA



Melissa Schaefer, MD

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

Author: Melissa Schaefer, MD
Medical Officer in CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion

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