Guide for Outpatient Infection Control During Disasters

APIC releases guide for outpatient infection control during disasters
To help prepare for protecting outpatients from infection during disasters such as pandemics, bioterror attacks, or outbreaks of a novel disease, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) today released a new guide, “Infection Prevention for Ambulatory Care Centers During Disasters.”

The 112-page guide provides infection prevention recommendations and resources for developing an emergency plan that includes operational expansion for surges in patients. It focuses on reducing hospital-acquired infections and communicable diseases but says that some diseases, such as smallpox or viral hemorrhagic fevers, require more intensive interventions than those outlined in the guide.

The risk for infection transmission in ambulatory care centers increases during a disaster, especially if hospitals cannot absorb patient surges, APIC said in a release e-mailed to reporters.

Topics in the guide include:
•         Program planning
•         Patient scheduling
•         Triage and surveillance
•         Occupational health issues

“Infection prevention must become part of daily practice, as well as a component of the emergency management planning and training scenarios for ambulatory care facilities,” said Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, lead author of the guide, and associate professor at Saint Louis University School of Public Health’s Institute for Biosecurity.

Download the APIC guide