New CDC checklist assists providers with infection control

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a checklist to help healthcare providers apply Guide to Infection Prevention in Outpatient Settings: Minimum Expectations for Safe Care.

The checklist is divided into two sections. The first guides outpatient administrators in setting up policies and facility practices such as providing space to isolate patients with respiratory symptoms and making sure at least one staff member is trained in infection prevention.

The second walks outpatient clinicians through such procedures as disinfecting septums on medication vials and ensuring that flash-sterilized instruments are used immediately and not stored.

CDC announced the release of the checklist via FDA’s September MedSun newsletter, which warned: “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.”