Appendix 2. Terminology

Infection Control in Healthcare Personnel: Infrastructure and Routine Practices for Occupational Infection Prevention and Control Services (2019)

Glossary of Terms

Healthcare organization (HCO) refers to a system comprised of people, facilities, and resources that deliver healthcare services to patients.

Healthcare personnel (HCP) refers to all paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials, including body substances (e.g., blood, tissue, and specific body fluids); contaminated medical supplies, devices, and equipment; contaminated environmental surfaces; or contaminated air. These HCP may include, but are not limited to, emergency medical service personnel, nurses, nursing assistants, physicians, technicians, therapists, phlebotomists, pharmacists, students and trainees, contractual staff not employed by the health care facility, and persons (e.g., clerical, dietary, environmental services, laundry, security, maintenance, engineering and facilities management, administrative, billing, and volunteer personnel) not directly involved in patient care but potentially exposed to infectious agents that can be transmitted among from HCP and patients. For this update, HCP does not include dental healthcare personnel, autopsy personnel, and laboratory personnel, as recommendations to address occupational infection prevention and control (IPC) services for these personnel are posted elsewhere [1,2,3].

Healthcare settings refers to places where healthcare is delivered and includes, but is not limited to, acute care facilities, long term acute care facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, home healthcare, vehicles where healthcare is delivered (e.g., mobile clinics), and outpatient facilities, such as dialysis centers, physician offices, and others.

Occupational Health Services (OHS) refers to the group, department, or program that addresses many aspects of health and safety in the workplace for HCP, including the provision of clinical services for work-related injuries, exposures, and illnesses. In healthcare settings, OHS addresses workplace hazards including communicable diseases; slips, trips and falls; patient handling injuries; chemical exposures; HCP burnout; and workplace violence. In this document, the term OHS is used synonymously with “Employee Health,” “Employee Health Services,” “Employee Health and Safety,” “Occupational Health,” and other such programs.

Occupational infection prevention and control (IPC) services refers to a subset of services provided by occupational health services for preventing the transmission of infectious illnesses in the workplace.

Performance measures refer to objective, quantitative indicators of various aspects of the performance of a program. They can focus on different aspects of performance, such as effectiveness, efficiency, productivity, cost effectiveness, or customer satisfaction [4].

Presenteeism refers to the act of attending work while ill and potentially infectious to others.

Quality improvement refers to a continuous and ongoing effort to achieve measurable improvements in the efficiency, effectiveness, performance, accountability, outcomes, and other indicators of quality in services [5].

Safety culture of an organization refers to the product of individual and group values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies, and patterns of behavior that determine the commitment to an organization’s health and safety management.

Sick leave refers to absence from the workplace to address health needs, such as illness.

Sharps with Engineered Sharps Injury Protection (SESIP) refers to devices with integrated features to prevent percutaneous injuries. In this document, the term SESIP is synonymous with Sharps with Injury Prevention features; safety-engineered devices; safety-engineered sharps; safety-engineered sharps devices; safer devices; safer medical devices; and protected sharp devices.

Acronyms and Abbreviations

Acronyms and abbreviations used in this document.
Abbreviation Expansion
ACIP Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
ADA Americans with Disabilities Act
CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CMS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
CoP Conditions of Participation
EHR Electronic Health Record
FDA Food and Drug Administration
FMLA Family and Medical Leave Act (of 1993)
HCO Healthcare Organization
HCP Healthcare Personnel
HICPAC Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee
HIPPA Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus
IIS Immunization Information Systems
IPC Infection Prevention and Control
NHSN National Healthcare Safety Network
NIOSH National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
OHS Occupational Health Services
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
PPE Personal Protective Equipment
PPME Pre-Placement Medical Evaluation
SESIP Sharps with Engineered Sharps Injury Protection
TB Tuberculosis


  1. Kohn WG, Harte JA, Malvitz DM, et al. Guidelines for infection control in dental health-care settings–2003. MMWR Recomm Rep 2003 Dec 19;52(RR-17):1-61.
  2. Miller JM, Astles R, Baszler T, et al; Biosafety Blue Ribbon Panel. Guidelines for safe work practices in human and animal medical diagnostic laboratories. Recommendations of a CDC-convened, Biosafety Blue Ribbon Panel [Erratum appears in MMWR Surveill Summ. 2012 Mar 30;61(12):214]. MMWR Suppl. 2012 Jan 6;61(1)1-102.
  3. Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, 5th edition. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health. HHS Publication No. (CDC) 21-1112. Effective December 2009. Reviewed October 24, 2018. Accessed August 20, 2019.
  4. Poister TH. Measuring Performance in Public and Nonprofit Organizations. Ann Arbor, MI: Wiley; 2003.
  5. Riley WJ, Moran JW, Corso LC, et al. Defining quality improvement in public health. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2010 Jan-Feb;16(1):5-7.