Physician Practice

Study highlights lacking infection control standards during medical procedures outside ORs

Medical Environment Update, December 1, 2017

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A new study published by a team of researchers from the University of Iowa outlines some of the outdated—and in some cases nonexistent—infection control procedures employed during invasive outpatient procedures performed outside of hospital operating rooms.

This has become a growing trend as out-patient procedures once requiring long stays in the hospital have become more commonly performed in doctor’s offices and medical clinics.

The researchers—University of Iowa physicians Vincent Masse, MD; Michael B. Edmond, MD, MPH, MPA; and Daniel J. Diekema, MD, MS D(ABMM)—were published in the September issue of the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC) in a paper titled Infection Prevention Strategies for Procedures Performed Outside Operating Rooms: A Conceptual Integrated Model.

The study sought to compare infection control methods used during invasive procedures such as needlesticks and blood draws, and examine why no comprehensive guidelines or classifications exist for infection prevention strategies for medical procedures performed outside ORs.

“We were recently faced with a simple question from a provider at our institution (Why must I wear a mask and a surgical hat to perform ?ne needle aspirations?) that illustrated such a gap,” wrote the study’s authors. “Not only were we unable to provide evidence to support this practice, but we also had no comprehensive policy regarding infection prevention practices for medical procedures performed outside an operating room.”

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