In Outpatient Settings
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 a checklist [PDF - 26 pages], 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 [PDF 42 pages]
This summary guide and companion checklist (Appendix A) describes infection prevention recommendations for outpatient (ambulatory care) settings.
The checklist [PDF - 26 pages] should be used for two purposes:
- To ensure that the facility has appropriate infection prevention policies and procedures in place and supplies to allow healthcare personnel to provide safe care.
- To systematically assess infection prevention practices of individual healthcare personnel.
Outpatient Policy Options
The Outpatient Settings Policy Options [PDF - 37 pages] 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
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).
A pocket-sized quick reference guide to the Basic Infection Control and Prevention Plan for Outpatient Oncology Settings [PDF - 1.57 MB] is also available to order free of charge from CDC-INFO on Demand - Publications (select "Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients" from the drop-down programs button).
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 .
CDC has numerous resources to assist clinicians in delivering safe care. Please visit:
Continuing Medical Education
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
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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- Outbreaks and Patient Notifications in Outpatient Settings
- CDC Feature: Having Surgery? What You Should Know Before You Go
- CDC Safe Healthcare Blog posting: Dr. Melissa Schaefer’s Inspecting Outpatient Surgery Centers – Lapses in Infection Prevention
- Infection Control Assessment of Ambulatory Surgical Centers The Journal of the American Medical Association.
- Infection Control Audit Tool used by State Surveyors during Inspections of CMS-Certified Ambulatory Surgical Centers [PDF - 667 KB]
- Nonhospital Health Care–Associated Hepatitis B and C Virus Transmission: United States, 1998–2008.
- One & Only Campaign
- Public Health Collaboration Models for Infection Prevention in Licensed Healthcare Settings A Focus on Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs) – October 20, 2010 – Meeting Overview
- US Outbreak Investigations Highlight the Need for Safe Injection Practices and Basic Infection Control [PDF - 270 KB]
- CDC-CMS Infection Control Assessment of Ambulatory Surgical Centers
- What CDC and HHS are doing in Ambulatory Surgical Centers: HHS Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-associated Infections
- Page last reviewed: November 13, 2015
- Page last updated: July 18, 2016
- Content source: