Standard Precautions

Author(s):
Tiffany Wiksten, BSN, RN Infection Prevention Practitioner

Advocate Christ Medical Center and Advocate Children's Hospital, Oak Lawn
Oak Lawn, IL

Published:
October 21, 2014

Abstract

Standard Precautions are guidelines that outline the minimum set of interventions that are required for preventing the transmission of microorganisms. They provide a foundation for infection prevention measures that are to be used for all patients in every healthcare setting. There are many factors that contribute to the consistent use of Standard Precautions within healthcare facilities. Administrative support is necessary to ensure infection prevention is an integral component of the organizational structure. Healthcare personnel must be educated and empowered to be accountable for providing safe care to all patients by incorporating Standard Precautions into the interventions and education they provide. There are several key components that the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee identifies that constitute the Standard Precautions guidelines.1Hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, appropriate use of personal protective equipment, safe work and injection practices, and environmental cleaning, as well as patient placement, are all elements essential in breaking the cycle of microorganism transmission. In today's global society, it is imperative that all facilities and settings that provide healthcare meticulously practice Standard Precautions to prevent transmission of known, as well as unknown threats of emerging pathogens protecting all persons including healthcare personnel, patients, and the community at large.