The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced the availability of free, downloadable Quick Observation Tools (QUOTs) for infection control to help healthcare facilities quickly identify infection prevention deficiencies and take corrective action in real time to protect patients from healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
APIC and CDC collaborated in the development of QUOTs, a set of ready-to-use, quick assessment forms or “cards” arranged around common themes, environments, and patient populations. They enable healthcare personnel to do infection prevention checks at the patient-care level in a matter of minutes and quickly identify, investigate, and remediate deficiencies.
“The goal of the QUOTs initiative is to empower healthcare personnel, not just infection preventionists (IPs), to prevent infections in their own patient care areas,” says Dr. Ryan Fagan, MD, medical officer at CDC. “These tools are designed to be completed in just a few minutes each with a simple set of observations, and should be repeated over time to track improvements.”
There are 20 sets of QUOTs, each containing as many as 10 individual observation worksheets that can be used separately or all together. Based on published scientific recommendations, each observation worksheet poses a series of simple questions to determine if prevention methods are in place. QUOTs were developed for different areas within acute care hospitals, including ICUs, medical-surgical wards, neonatal ICUs, post-anesthesia care units, and high-level disinfection areas. They were also created specifically for ambulatory settings, critical access hospital care units, and critical care hospital high-level disinfection areas.
“Using QUOTs allows IPs to reinforce favorable infection prevention behaviors with healthcare workers at all levels,” says 2018 APIC President Janet Haas, PhD, RN, CIC, FSHEA, FAPIC.