Outpatient Settings Training/Resources
Outpatient Settings (Ambulatory Care) Background Information
At any given time, 1 in 20 U.S. hospital patients has a healthcare-associated infection (HAI), but HAIs can occur in any healthcare setting, including outpatient surgery centers. Today, more than three-quarters of all surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis. With this expansion of the outpatient surgery field comes a parallel need to ensure that outpatient care is delivered with infection prevention safeguards equal to those protecting inpatients. The HHS Office of Healthcare Quality has developed resources and listed additional tools below to help clinicians ensure they are meeting minimum infection prevention expectations for safe care.
Ambulatory care is defined as care provided in facilities where patients do not remain overnight (e.g., hospital-based outpatient clinics, non-hospital-based clinics and physicians’ offices, urgent care centers, ambulatory surgical centers, public health clinics, imaging centers, oncology clinics, ambulatory behavioral health and substance abuse clinics, physical therapy and rehabilitation centers). (Guide to Infection Prevention for Outpatient Settings: Minimum Expectations for Safe Care, 2011).
HAI data are lacking for many ambulatory care settings, but evidence of the potential risks is clear from recent outbreaks and adverse events. Patients in a variety of outpatient settings continue to be affected, even though most of this harm could have been prevented by proper use of basic infection prevention and control measures.
Below you will find resources pertaining to HAI prevention in ambulatory care settings. Two of these resources have continuing medical education (CME) credits attached to them.
Infection Prevention Training for Ambulatory Surgical Centers
Healthcare personnel working in ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) have the opportunity to earn up to 8.75 continuing education credits by participating in various trainings related to preventing HAIs in ASCs. Training topics include: Hand Hygiene, Sterilization and Disinfection, Safe Injection Practices, and Environmental Infection Control. While the trainings primarily target ASC personnel, many of these presentations are also applicable to other outpatient settings.
The training presentations are from the HHS Division of Healthcare Quality (DHQ)-sponsored Region II project Infection Prevention Training for Ambulatory Surgical Centers. Region II consists of New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The trainings were recorded and produced by the Clinical Directors Network (CDN).
Resources for Outpatient Settings (Ambulatory Care Settings)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released “Guide to Infection Prevention for Outpatient Settings: Minimum Expectations for Safe Care” and the “Infection Prevention Checklist for Outpatient Settings”. These materials distill existing infection prevention guidance from the CDC and its Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) and represent the minimum infection prevention expectations for safe care in outpatient settings.
The infection prevention checklist should be used for the following 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 personnel adherence to correct infection prevention practices.
Additional Evidence-Based Guidelines from CDC are available here and include:
- Guidelines for Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings, 2002
- Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities, 2008 (PDF)
- Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Healthcare Facilities, 2003
HAI-Related Social Media Promotion Materials (Widgets, Buttons, Badges)
If you would like to add HAI-related widgets, buttons and badges to your website, blogs, or other electronic communications visit these sites: Widgets, Buttons and Badges or Vital Signs Social Media for instructions and options.
Additional Opportunities to Earn Outpatient Settings-Related CME credits
You can earn additional CME credit by completing the CDC course Unsafe Injection Practices: Outbreaks, Incidents, and Root Causes, available on Medscape.
Please note: You must have a Medscape account to view this webcast.
Federal Resources about Healthcare-Associated Infections
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Action Plan to Prevent HAIs
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Provides links to CDC resources, including estimates of HAIs, lists of infectious diseases in health care settings, and information on antimicrobial resistance. Get a list of other CDC resources (PDF)
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) (PDF)
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - Provides information on topics of interest to consumers, including infections, medicines, and recalls.
- HHS Resources for Consumers and Providers on HealthCare.gov
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) - Provides information on antimicrobial drug resistance, including its causes, diagnosis, and treatment.
- National Library of Medicine (NLM) - Links to information on bacteria, including preventing and treating infections.
HAI Prevention Basics
More About Specific HAIs
- Central Line-Associated Blood Stream Infections (CLABSIs) (PDF)
- Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTIs) (PDF)
- Surgical Site Infections (SSIs) (PDF)
- Ventilator Associated Pneumonias (VAPs) (PDF)
- Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) (PDF)
- Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (PDF)
Resources for Healthcare Personnel
- Environmental Services (PDF)
- Infection Preventionists and Clinicians (PDF)
- Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients
Additional Patient and Family Resources
- Navigating the Health Care System - Features advice for consumers and patients from the AHRQ Director
- Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture: 2011 User Comparative Database Report
- Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients