Routine Practices and Additional Precautions for Preventing the Transmission of Infection in Healthcare Settings

The Routine Practices and Additional Precautions for Preventing the Transmission of Infection in Healthcare Settings guideline provides a framework for preventing the transmission of microorganisms to patients, healthcare workers and visitors. It is intended to assist healthcare organizations, infection prevention and control professionals and all other healthcare providers responsible for developing policies and procedures related to routine practices and additional precautions in all settings where health care is provided - whether in acute or long-term care, ambulatory care, home care or prehospital care settings.

This guideline replaces the 1999 version of Routine Practices and Additional Precautions for Preventing the Transmission of Infection in Health Care.

The following highlights the major changes from the 1999 version:

  • use of alcohol-based hand rub at the point-of-care as the preferred method for hand hygiene in all healthcare settings unless certain exceptions apply,
  • preference to single inpatient rooms with designated toilets and patient sinks,
  • accessible designated handwashing sinks for healthcare workers,
  • implementation of respiratory hygiene,
  • spatial separation of two metres between a coughing patient with a suspected/confirmed droplet transmissible respiratory infection and another patient without the infection,
  • strategies for preventing transmission of tuberculosis or respiratory infection with an emerging respiratory pathogen, when performing aerosol generating medical procedures,
  • contact and droplet precautions for adult patients with known or suspected viral respiratory infections,
  • organizational risk assessments by healthcare organizations, and
  • point-of-care risk assessments by healthcare workers prior to each patient interaction.

The full version of this document Routine Practices and Additional Precautions for Preventing the Transmission of Infection in Healthcare Settings (2013) is available on the Government of Canada publications website.

For further information please contact:

Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control
Public Health Agency of Canada
ccdic-clmti@phac-aspc.gc.ca

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