Outpatient settings policy options for improving infection prevention
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Outpatient settings policy options for improving infection prevention

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      Recent experiences with newly emerging and highly infectious diseases have spotlighted the importance of robust public health and healthcare delivery systems These needs extend across all healthcare settings and jurisdictions Efforts to define and apply basic standards of infection control in outpatient healthcare settings1 require bolstering at state, local, territorial and federal levels

      Current policies are highly variable, leaving many gaps in patient protection from infectious diseases (e g , healthcare-associated infections or HAIs) For example, only a minority of outpatient facilities are certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and few are licensed by states or maintain accreditation status As a result, many of these facilities are opened and operated without being held to minimum safety standards for infection control or other aspects of patient care, potentially putting patients at risk States and their supporting HAI multidisciplinary advisory groups who are interested in more effective and proactive oversight of outpatient facilities may consider addressing four key elements: (1) facility licensing/accreditation requirements, (2) provider-level training, licensing and certification, (3) reporting requirements, and (4) establishment and effective application of investigation authorities

      This document is designed to assist state, local, and territorial health departments and policymakers at various levels to analyze current policies in outpatient settings, review proposed changes, and inspire possible changes to improve programs.

      The following sections outline the four key elements recommended by the workgroup and reflect CDC and health department encounters with outbreak investigations,2 as well as feedback from workgroup members based on their experiences and expertise Each section contains an explanation of the element and its components, sample scenarios highlighting the need for effective practices or strategies, potential options to improve programs, examples of existing state policies, and other aids designed to help states and territories identify gaps and pursue potential solutions at the state, territorial, local, and facility levels.



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