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CDC guide to promote safe outpatient care

ATLANTA, July 13 (UPI) -- U.S. health officials Wednesday released a guide and checklist for outpatient care settings such as endoscopy clinics, surgery centers and doctor's offices.

Dr. Michael Bell, deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, says The Guide to Infection Prevention for Outpatient Settings: Minimum Expectations for Safe Care is based on existing evidence-based CDC guidelines, mostly used by hospitals.

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"Patients deserve the same basic levels of protection in a hospital or any other healthcare setting," Bell says in a statement. "Failure to follow standard precautions, such as correct injection practices, cannot be tolerated. Repeated outbreaks resulting from unsafe practices, along with breaches of infection control noted in ambulatory surgical centers during inspections, indicate the need for better infection prevention across our entire healthcare system, including outpatient settings."

Outpatient facilities and practices should:

-- Develop and maintain infection prevention and occupational health programs.

-- Ensure that at least one person with training in infection control be employed or regularly available to the facility.

-- Develop written infection-prevention policies and procedures.

-- Provide job specific infection prevention education and training.

-- Perform regular audits and competency evaluations of staff's adherence to infection prevention.

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-- Adhere to local, state and federal requirements regarding hospital-acquired infections surveillance, reportable diseases and outbreak reporting.

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