A recent study published in the March issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, details lapses in infection control in an outpatient oncology clinic. The lapses resulted in the first ever outbreak of Tsukamurella spp., a Gram-positive bacteria that rarely causes disease in humans.
This type of outbreak highlights the critical need for increased attention to and oversight of infection control in outpatient oncology settings. To help outpatient oncology facilities prevent these types of outbreaks and establish appropriate infection control strategies, CDC developed the following resources as part of its Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients program:
- A Basic Infection Control and Prevention Plan for Outpatient Oncology Settings. This plan is tailored to these settings outlining key policies and procedures needed to meet minimal requirements for patient safety. Outpatient oncology facilities without an existing plan are encouraged to use this document as a starting point.
- Website for cancer patients and caregivers: PreventCancerInfections.org. This site features an evidence-based, interactive online program designed to help assess a cancer patients risk for developing both a low white blood cell count during chemotherapy and subsequent infections. The web site also features a variety of educational resources, including health tip sheets on a variety of topics.
- Educational materials for patients, caregivers, and doctors including posters, brochures, and videos.