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Patient Safety Tool: Infection Prevention Checklist for Outpatient Settings From CDC

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published an infection prevention checklist for outpatient settings.

 

The checklist, "Infection Prevention Checklist for Outpatient Settings: Minimum Expectations for Safe Care," is a companion to the new CDC Guide to Infection Prevention for Outpatient Settings: Minimum Expectations for Safe Care.

 

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The checklist, which can be found below or downloaded by clicking here (pdf), should be used:

  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 personnel adherence to correct infection prevention practices. (Assessment of adherence should be conducted by direct observation of healthcare personnel during the performance of their duties.)

 

Facilities using this checklist should identify all procedures performed in their ambulatory setting and refer to appropriate sections to conduct their evaluation. Certain sections may not apply (e.g., some settings may not perform sterilization or high-level disinfection). If the answer to any of the listed questions is "No", efforts should be made to correct the practice, appropriately educate healthcare personnel (if applicable), and determine why the correct practice was not being performed. Consideration should also be made for determining the risk posed to patients by the deficient practice. Certain infection control lapses (e.g., re-use of syringes on more than one patient or to access a medication container that is used for subsequent patients; re-use of lancets) can result in bloodborne pathogen transmission and should be halted immediately. Identification of such lapses warrants immediate consultation with the state or local health department and appropriate notification and testing of potentially affected patients.

 

Infection Prevention Checklist

I. Administrative Policies and Facility Practices

 

1. Facility Policies

Practice Performed

If answer is No, document plan for remediation

a) Written infection prevention policies and procedures are available, current, and based on evidence-based guidelines (e.g., CDC/HICPAC), regulations, or standards
(Note: Policies and procedures should be appropriate for the services provided by the facility and should extend beyond OSHA bloodborne pathogen training)


Yes   No

 

b) Infection prevention policies and procedures are re-assessed at least annually or according to state or federal requirements

 

Yes   No

 

c) At least one individual trained in infection prevention is employed by or regularly available to the facility

 

Yes   No

 

d) Supplies necessary for adherence to Standard Precautions are readily available
(Note: This includes hand hygiene products, personal protective equipment, and injection equipment.)


Yes   No

 

 

2. General Infection Prevention Education and Training

Practice Performed

If answer is No, document plan for remediation

a) Healthcare Personnel (HCP) receive job-specific training on infection prevention policies and procedures upon hire and at least annually or according to state or federal requirements
(Note: This includes those employed by outside agencies and available by contract or on a volunteer basis to the facility.)


Yes   No

 

b) Competency and compliance with job-specific infection prevention policies and procedures are documented both upon hire and through annual evaluations/assessments

 

Yes   No

 

 

3. Occupational Health

Practice Performed

If answer is No, document plan for remediation

a) HCP are trained on the OSHA bloodborne pathogen standard upon hire and at least annually

 

Yes   No

 

b) The facility maintains a log of needlesticks, sharps injuries, and other employee exposure events

 

Yes   No

 

c) Following an exposure event, post-exposure evaluation and follow-up, including prophylaxis as appropriate, are available at no cost to employee and are supervised by a licensed healthcare professional

 

Yes   No

 

d) Hepatitis B vaccination is available at no cost to all employees who are at risk of occupational exposure

 

Yes   No

 

e) Post-vaccination screening for protective levels of hepatitis B surface antibody is conducted after third vaccine dose is administered

 

Yes   No

 

f) All HCP are offered annual influenza vaccination at no cost

 

Yes   No

 

g) All HCP who have potential for exposure to tuberculosis (TB) are screened for TB upon hire and annually (if negative)

 

Yes   No

 

h) The facility has a respiratory protection program that details required worksite-specific procedures and elements for required respirator use

 

Yes   No

 

i) Respiratory fit testing is provided at least annually to appropriate HCP

 

Yes   No

 

j) Facility has written protocols for managing/preventing job-related and community-acquired infections or important exposures in HCP, including notification of appropriate Infection Prevention and Occupational Health personnel when applicable

Yes   No

 

 

4. Surveillance and Disease Reporting

Practice Performed

If answer is No, document plan for remediation

a) An updated list of diseases reportable to the public health authority is readily available to all personnel

 

Yes   No

 

b) The facility can demonstrate compliance with mandatory reporting requirements for notifiable diseases, healthcare associated infections, and for potential outbreaks.

Yes   No

 

 

5. Hand Hygiene

Practice Performed

If answer is No, document plan for remediation

a) The facility provides supplies necessary for adherence to hand hygiene (e.g., soap, water, paper towels, alcohol-based hand rub) and ensures they are readily accessible to HCP in patient care areas

 

Yes   No

 

b) HCP are educated regarding appropriate indications for hand washing with soap and water versus hand rubbing with alcohol-based hand rub
(Note: Soap and water should be used when bare hands are visibly soiled (e.g., blood, body fluids) or after caring for a patient with known or suspected infectious diarrhea (e.g., Clostridium difficile or norovirus). In all other situations, alcohol-based hand rub may be used.)


Yes   No

 

c) The facility periodically monitors and records adherence to hand hygiene and provides feedback to personnel regarding their performance

Yes   No

 

 

6. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Practice Performed

If answer is No, document plan for remediation

a) The facility has sufficient and appropriate PPE available and readily accessible to HCP

 

Yes    No

 

b) HCP receive training on proper selection and use of PPE

Yes   No

 

 

7. Injection Safety

Practice Performed

If answer is No, document plan for remediation

a) Medication purchasing decisions at the facility reflect selection of vial sizes that most appropriately fit the procedure needs of the facility and limit need for sharing of multi-dose vials

 

Yes    No

 

b) Injections are required to be prepared using aseptic technique in a clean area free from contamination or contact with blood, body fluids or contaminated equipment

 

Yes   No

 

c) Facility has policies and procedures to track HCP access to controlled substances to prevent narcotics theft/diversion

Yes    No

 

 

8. Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette

Practice Performed

If answer is No, document plan for remediation

a) The facility has policies and procedures to contain respiratory secretions in persons who have signs and symptoms of a respiratory infection, beginning at point of entry to the facility and continuing through the duration of the visit. Policies include:

 

Yes   No

 

i) Posting signs at entrances (with instructions to patients with symptoms of respiratory infection to cover their mouths/noses when coughing or sneezing, use and dispose of tissues, and perform hand hygiene after hands have been in contact with respiratory secretions.)

 

Yes   No

 

ii) Providing tissues and no-touch receptacles for disposal of tissues

 

Yes   No

 

iii) Providing resources for performing hand hygiene in or near waiting areas

 

Yes   No

 

iv) Offering facemasks to coughing patients and other symptomatic persons upon entry to the facility

 

Yes   No

 

v) Providing space and encouraging persons with symptoms of respiratory infections to sit as far away from others as possible. If available, facilities may wish to place these patients in a separate area while waiting for care


Yes   No

 

b) The facility educates HCP on the importance of infection prevention measures to contain respiratory secretions to prevent the spread of respiratory pathogens when examining and caring for patients with signs and symptoms of a respiratory infection.

Yes   No

 

 

9. Environmental Cleaning

Practice Performed

If answer is No, document plan for remediation

a) Facility has written policies and procedures for routine cleaning and disinfection of environmental services, including identification of responsible personnel

 

Yes   No

 

b) Environmental services staff receive job-specific training and competency validation at hire and when procedures/policies change

 

Yes   No

 

c) Training and equipment are available to ensure that HCP wear appropriate PPE to preclude exposure to infectious agents or chemicals (PPE can include gloves, gowns, masks, and eye protection)

 

Yes   No

 

d) Cleaning procedures are periodically monitored and assessed to ensure that they are consistently and correctly performed

 

Yes   No

 

e) The facility has a policy/procedure for decontamination of spills of blood or other body fluids

Yes   No

 

 

10. Reprocessing of Reusable Instruments and Devices

Practice Performed

If answer is No, document plan for remediation

a) Facility has policies and procedures to ensure that reusable medical devices are cleaned and reprocessed appropriately prior to use on another patient (Note: This includes clear delineation of responsibility among HCP.)

 

Yes   No

 

b) Policies, procedures, and manufacturer reprocessing instructions for reusable medical devices used in the facility are available in the reprocessing area(s)

 

Yes   No

 

c) HCP responsible for reprocessing reusable medical devices are appropriately trained and competencies are regularly documented (at least annually and when new equipment is introduced)

 

Yes   No

 

d) Training and equipment are available to ensure that HCP wear appropriate PPE to prevent exposure to infectious agents or chemicals (PPE can include gloves, gowns, masks, and eye protection). (Note: The exact type of PPE depends on infectious or chemical agent and anticipated type of exposure.)

 

Yes   No

 

The above basic information allows for a general assessment of policies and procedures related to reprocessing of reusable medical devices. Ambulatory facilities that are providing on-site sterilization or high-level disinfection of reusable medical equipment should refer to the more detailed checklists related to sterilization and high-level disinfection in separate sections of this document devoted to those issues.

 

Critical items (e.g., surgical instruments) are objects that enter sterile tissue or the vascular system and must be sterile prior to use (see Sterilization Section).

 

Semi-critical items (e.g. , endoscopes for upper endoscopy and colonoscopy, vaginal probes) are objects that contact mucous membranes or non-intact skin and require, at a minimum, high-level disinfection prior to reuse (see High-level Disinfection Section).

 

Non-critical items (e.g., blood pressure cuffs) are objects that may come in contact with intact skin but not mucous membranes and should undergo cleaning and low- or intermediate-level disinfection depending on the nature and degree of contamination.

 

Single-use devices (SUDs) are labeled by the manufacturer for a single use and do not have reprocessing instructions. They may not be reprocessed for reuse except by entities which have complied with FDA regulatory requirements and have received FDA clearance to reprocess specific SUDs.

 

Note: Pre-cleaning must always be performed prior to sterilization and/or disinfection

 

11. Sterilization of Reusable Instruments and Devices

Practice Performed

If answer is No, document plan for remediation

a) All reusable critical instruments and devices are sterilized prior to reuse

 

Yes   No

 

b) Routine maintenance for sterilization equipment is performed according to manufacturer instruction (confirm maintenance records are available)

 

Yes   No

 

c) Policies and procedures are in place outlining facility response (i.e., recall of device and risk assessment) in the event of a reprocessing error/failure.

Yes   No

 

 

12. High-Level Disinfection of Reusable Instruments and Devices

Practice Performed

If answer is No, document plan for remediation

a) All reusable semi-critical items receive at least high-level disinfection prior to reuse

 

Yes   No

 

b) The facility has a system in place to identify which instrument (e.g., endoscope) was used on a patient via a log for each procedure

 

Yes   No

 

c) Routine maintenance for high-level disinfection equipment is performed according to manufacturer instruction; confirm maintenance records are available

Yes    No

 

 

Source: CDC

 

Note: View our database providing 85-plus reports that link to free, downloadable and adaptable tools for use in surgery centers, hospitals and other organizations by clicking here.

 

Related Articles on Infection Prevention:

Top 10 Roadblocks to Infection Prevention

Elements of an Award-Winning HAI Prevention Program: Q&A With Pam Strickland of Kimberly-Clark Health Care

Infection Control in ASCs: Best Practices and Current Ideas

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