Published 31 Jan 2023
What is an Infection Control Audit?
An infection control audit is the process of proactively guarding healthcare facilities against the spread of diseases by identifying and setting controls for possible sources of infection. Also called infection control risk assessment, an infection control audit can help ensure patient safety and improve the quality of care.
An infection control audit checklist is used by healthcare administrators in hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes to assess the infection control protocols in place. Check current hygiene practices, use of PPE, and the cleanliness of equipment and facilities such as patient rooms, kitchens, nurses’ stations, etc. Inspect trash segregation and proper disposal of different materials. Complete the infection control audit and provide comments or recommendations to improve infection control. With SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) on mobile devices, you can:
- Use the mobile app to take photos of infection control issues.
- Assign corrective actions upon discovery of issues.
- Schedule internal inspections to ensure continuous monitoring.
- Send and receive paperless audit reports and analyze the results.
- Use the collected information to better protect healthcare staff, patients, and caregivers from infections.
In this article
- What is an Infection Control Checklist?
- What Should an Infection Control Checklist Include?
- How often should an infection control audit be completed?
- What are the five basic principles for infection control?
- Powerful Digital Audit Tool for Infection Control
- Digital Infection Control Audit Tools
What is an Infection Control Checklist?
An infection control checklist or infection control assessment tool is used in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes to assess cleanliness, infection control practices, and compliance with hygiene standards.
Infection control, through the effective use of infection control audit tools, can help prevent the spread of diseases amongst patients and staff and ensure the safety of healthcare facilities.
What Should an Infection Control Checklist Include?
An infection control checklist should include a regular review and inspection of the following items:
- Employee name
- Hand hygiene
- Clean utility
- Central supply/storage
- Patient rooms
- Patient kitchen/breakroom
- Employee kitchen/breakroom
- General unit
- Nurses station
- Medication room
- Isolation rooms
- Employee’s general knowledge of infection control
- Dirty utility room
- Patient shower room
How often should an infection control audit be completed?
The frequency of an infection control audit depends on the needs, current situation, and context of the healthcare institution. Generally, the International Federation of Infection Control (IFIC) affirms that an infection control audit should take place over a defined time using a rapid audit cycle plan or an overall annual plan.
For example, each specific area of an organization such as hand hygiene, indwelling lines, and urinary catheters, should be audited one day at a time and in an alternating pattern. Having audited each area twice with a 2-day interval, the infection control team will have results about the effectiveness of their safety measures within a week.
To provide a clearer picture of a sample infection control audit schedule, refer to the table below:
Analyze data, communicate results, and apply improvement measures
What are the five basic principles for infection control?
Infection control audits cover all possible sources of infection in healthcare facilities with particular focus on the following (source: CDC):
Infection control programThe healthcare facility should have written infection control policies and procedures. Healthcare staff, as well as patients and their caregivers, should be empowered with training and knowledge on infection control.
Special circumstances also call for strict compliance with measures implemented to prevent fast-spreading diseases from taking place in healthcare facilities.
Hygiene practicesCompetency on proper hand hygiene is a must, particularly for healthcare providers. Routine monitoring of hand hygiene practices through internal audits can help ensure that proper hand hygiene is being practiced.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)One way to protect healthcare professionals from infection is through the proper use of PPE, which is standard procedure in any job that involves health risks.
Facility and equipmentHealthcare professionals should be knowledgeable in the use of ventilators and other hospital equipment. The proper disinfection of tools and equipment and the cleanliness of the healthcare facility must be maintained at all times.
Healthcare practiceProper insertion and maintenance of catheters, injection practices, and other medical services must be done in adherence to the infection control protocols of the facility.
Powerful Digital Audit Tool for Infection Control
The Implementation and continuous monitoring of infection control processes can be a daunting task for healthcare administrators in any healthcare facility. SafetyCulture, the world’s most powerful mobile auditing app, can help healthcare managers assess adherence to infection control and be empowered to do the following:
- Take photos of safety issues found during internal audits.
- Immediately address non-compliance and assign corrective actions on the spot.
- Schedule regular infection control inspections to continuously monitor healthcare practices.
- Save time and reduce costs by automatically generating paperless reports using the mobile app. Preview a sample web and PDF report.
- Analyze internal audit results and watch out for safety trends and formulate better training programs based on the collected information.
- Use for free with small healthcare teams. Unlimited reports and storage for premium accounts.
How Do You Monitor Infection Control with SafetyCulture?
Monitoring procedures for infection control becomes more efficient using the SafetyCulture app and the SafetyCulture analytics on the web platform. It all starts with a template—like this one. Having an infection control audit template in your team’s mobile devices makes it easier for them to just do it and even record their observations on the fly. Learn more about observations.
With real-time data flowing from the SafetyCulture app into the web platform, you can instantly see flagged items the moment an audit has been completed. Over time, these flagged items, or non-compliant areas of your operation, will have created a pattern which can help your team develop more effective infection controls. Moreover, you can also clearly recognize safe practices and reward them accordingly. Learn more about flagged items.
Digital Infection Control Audit Tools
This comprehensive infection control risk assessment tool checklist for acute care is based on the CDC’s Infection Control Assessment Tool. This checklist uses Yes-No (and Not Applicable when appropriate) response set and uses smart logic to prompt corresponding items. "No" answers are highlighted on reports and Analytics to easily identify opportunities for improvement in infection control.
This infection control assessment checklist can be used for long-term care facilities such as nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Check the infection control policies, immunization, hand hygiene, PPEs, fridge monitoring, disinfection, laundry, kitchen, etc. SafetyCulture’s infection control templates can be customized to better suit the service provided by any healthcare facility.
Use this Anesthesia Infection Prevention Assessment at hospitals to observe the infection prevention processes in place for administering anesthesia. Check the hospital’s policies, staff hand hygiene and glove use, PPE, injection practices, supplies, disinfection, and exposure management. Enter comments and other observations and complete the assessment with a digital signature. Never lose another assessment file again and conveniently access all audits with SafetyCulture’s cloud-based storage.
This infection control audit template intends to assess the hand hygiene practices of nurses and caregivers and ensure that proper hygiene is observed in hospitals, clinics, and care homes. Identify if the interaction will be with an Isolation or Non-Isolation patient and proceed with the assessment of the staff. Use SafetyCulture to capture non-compliance, take photos for evidence, and take the opportunity to coach the staff to improve hygienic practices. Use SafetyCulture’s Analytics to observe trends of risks that can be mitigated.
Use this checklist to ensure you are following CDC guidelines for cleaning and hygiene to control the spread of viral diseases.
Healthcare and assisted living providers can use this COVID-19 screening checklist to help ensure the safety of their institutions and control the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Please note that this screening checklist provides basic information only and it is not intended to take the place of medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.