Ambulatory Care

Joanne Archer, BTech MA Educator/Consultant

 Provincial Infection Control Network
Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

Bruce Gamage, RN, BSN, CIC IC Consultant

 BC Centre for Disease Control
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

October 2, 2014
Declarations of Conflicts of Interest:
  • Bruce Gamage is currently president of Infection Prevention and Control Canada (IPAC Canada).


Healthcare is shifting from inpatient acute care to a variety of outpatient ambulatory and community care settings ranging from physician offices to ambulatory surgery centers. As this shift occurs, the risk of acquiring a healthcare-associated infection in the ambulatory care settings is increasing. Risk factors associated with this increase are the type and number of invasive procedures performed, as well as the client's advancing age and number of comorbidities. Standard precautions remain the basic approach to the prevention of healthcare-associated infections in ambulatory care settings. Careful adherence to infection prevention principles adapted for the outpatient arena will minimize infection risks to patients, healthcare personnel, and family members/visitors. This chapter addresses infection prevention and control in ambulatory care settings except ambulatory surgery, dialysis, and oncology centers, which are all addressed in other chapters.