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CDC releases infection prevention plan for outpatient oncology setting—Medical Environment Update, January 2012

A new ‘plug and play’ infection control plan that allows oncology clinics to get up to speed on basic infection prevention policies and procedures is the focus of January issue of [1]Medical Environment Update [1].

Here is an excerpt:

Oncology clinics traditionally house some of the most vulnerable patients when it comes to contracting dangerous infections, further compounding the already debilitating effects of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy. Because of this, it’s doubly important that oncology clinics have a plan in place to protect their patient population.

Enter the CDC, which released The Basic Infection Control and Prevention Plan for Outpatient Oncology Settings at www.cdc.gov/Features/ PreventInfections. This plan lays out all of the basic infection control (IC) requirements in a simple way, allowing oncology clinics to simply plug the plan into their facility’s policies and procedures, and implement best practices among frontline staff.

“I think at a minimum we want all facilities to have in place some written policies, protocols, and procedures for patient protection so that every staff member is aware that this is what the facility recommends and this is what every employee of a facility should adhere to,” says Alice Guh, MD, medical officer and coleader of the CDC initiative.

Reasoning behind the plan
Outpatient and ambulatory facilities of all types have come under increased scrutiny over the past year, highlighting the need for more stringent oversight and additional resources. Statistics published in Joint Commission Online in September 2011 revealed that ambulatory surgery centers and office-based practices still struggled with IC standards requiring them to identify risks for infection and reduce the risk of infections associated with medical devices.

Through its own data collection, the CDC became aware of more frequent infectious outbreaks occurring in the oncology setting in particular, prompting the publication of an oncology-specific infection prevention plan.

The feature article also includes sections on:

Also appearing in November issue of Medical Environment Update:

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