Kelly Pyrek

IC in Care Series: Ambulatory Care

June 2, 2017

Policies relating to newly emerging and highly infectious diseases in outpatient healthcare settings within the context of infection prevention and control are highly variable, according to public health experts, leaving many gaps in patient protection from healthcare-associated infections (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. In an October 2015 document, Outpatient Settings Policy Options for Improving Infection Prevention, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlined four key elements for states and their supporting HAI multidisciplinary advisory groups who are interested in more effective and proactive oversight of out-patient facilities: facility licensing/accreditation requirements; provider-level training, licensing and certification; reporting requirements; and establishment and effective application of investigation authorities.