Patients deserve and expect safe care free of preventable complications, such as healthcare-associated infections. Hospital credentialing agencies and state health departments regularly conduct facility assessments in order to ensure quality and safe patient care is provided. It is critical that facility healthcare personnel (HCP) understand what and how the assessments are performed and, subsequently, be trained to conduct their own routine assessments to ensure infection prevention practices and procedures continue to be in place independent of visits by public health authorities. While this responsibility routinely or primarily rests with the facility’s infection prevention program and led by the infection preventionist (IP), it is generally accepted that infection prevention is everyone’s responsibility.
The goal of this resource is to provide easy, ready-to-use, quick assessment forms or “cards” that are collated around common themes, environments, or patient populations. These assessments are easily downloaded and take the form of 3-8 questions for each observation or patient in order to facilitate a quick check at the local level. Deficiencies can be identified, investigated, and remediated in a timely manner. The cards should be used not only by IPs, but more importantly, by other HCPs not specifically trained in infection prevention but whose primary responsibilities are at the specific location being assessed (e.g., department manager or their designee). Each observation is based on specific guideline recommendations or general consensus as published in the literature. The priority targets for these assessments are all U.S. hospitals but other healthcare settings may evaluate and use these tools when applicable.
These quick observation tools (QUOTS) for infection prevention and control are the result of a partnership between CDC and APIC in 2016 following the lessons learned during the global health crisis and U.S. healthcare challenges of Ebola in 2014. APIC coordinated the project, recruited faculty to develop, pilot, and revise the cards, while CDC provided direction, content review, and modifications. Highlights of the pilot, including statements from the participants can be found here. The project was funded through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Contract (#200-2016-89676).
The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc (APIC), is a professional association of IPs. With more than 15,000 members located throughout the world and in a variety of healthcare delivery settings, APIC’s mission is to create a safer world through the prevention of infection and it advances this mission through patient safety, implementation science, data standardization, advocacy, and IP competency and certification. APIC collaborates with other professional associations, consumer groups, and thought leaders, as well as regulatory and accrediting bodies to maximize the synergy of shared interests and resources with the goal of improving patient outcomes. www.apic.org