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Core infection prevention and control practices for safe healthcare delivery in all settings – recommendations of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee
  • Published Date:
    March 15, 2017
  • Status:
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Filetype[PDF-213.53 KB]

  • Description:
    A number of core practices are recommended by CDC and considered standards of care and/or accepted practices (e.g., aseptic technique, hand hygiene before patient contact) to prevent infection in healthcare settings. These widely agreed upon practices are elements of care that are not expected to change based on additional research, either because of an overwhelming preponderance of evidence (e.g., hand hygiene requirements), or in some cases due to ethical concerns (e.g., randomizing patients to procedures performed by trained versus untrained personnel). Therefore, these accepted practices are categorized as strong recommendations, even when high-quality randomized controlled trials are not available to support them. In an effort to streamline and systematize the process for updating existing guidelines without recreating the analytic process for each of these accepted/core practices, in March 2013, CDC charged HICPAC to review existing CDC guidelines and identify all recommendations that warrant inclusion as core practices. A HICPAC workgroup was formed that was led by HICPAC members and contained representatives from the following stakeholder organizations: America’s Essential Hospitals, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), and the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM). The Workgroup provided updates and obtained HICPAC input at the June 2013, November 2013, April 2014, and July 2014 public meetings. HICPAC voted to finalize the recommendations at the July 2014 meeting.

    This document concisely describes a core set of infection prevention and control practices that are required in all healthcare settings, regardless of the type of healthcare provided. The practices were selected from among existing CDC recommendations and are the subset that HICPAC and its Core Practices Working Group determined were fundamental standards of care that are not expected to change based on emerging evidence or to be regularly altered by changes in technology or practices, and are applicable across the continuum of healthcare settings. This document also is intended to improve consistency of language, reduce redundancy across guidelines, and provide a convenient reference wherein these recommendations are maintained. A review of existing CDC guidelines demonstrated many examples of similar recommendations in multiple guidelines with variability in language. The recommendations outlined in this document are intended to serve as a standard reference and reduce the need to repeatedly evaluate practices that are considered basic and accepted as standards of medical care. Readers are urged to consult the full text of CDC guidelines (see references) for additional background and rationale related to the core practice recommendations captured here.


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