Infectious disease experts at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), USA, have published a practical guide for infectious disease control in clinics.
The paper was published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases, a publication of the Infectious Disease Society of America, and provides a step-by-step guide as to what clinicians need to do to achieve better infection prevention and control as healthcare delivery shifts from hospital to outpatient settings.
Although the paper is directed at healthcare providers, Senior Author Dr Luis Ostrosky, a professor of infectious diseases at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, said patients can play their own important role.
“Our mantra is 'It's OK to ask’. So, it's OK to ask your doctor or nurse if they washed their hands and if the instrument they are using on you is sterilised,” he said. “People need to be their own advocates to make sure they're being taken care of safely.”
The key areas of focus in the paper are injection safety, cleaning and sterilisation, high-level disinfection and good hand hygiene.
The aim of the paper is to help clinics to be as clean as possible in areas that are not externally regulated or monitored. “We want to prevent any transmission of infection, whether it's flu in a paediatric clinic or hepatitis in a gastroenterology clinic,” Ostrosky said.