One common questioned I am asked when presenting on the topic of infection control is whether a written infection control plan is really necessary. The short answer to this question is “YES”!. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires facilities providing patient care services to have and maintain a written infection control plan. The infection control plan must include six sections including employee categorization, HBV vaccination, training plan & training records, work practice controls, emergency procedures, and post-exposure evaluation & follow-up. Of these six sections, all of them may be identical from one practice or clinic to the next with the exception of the section covering work practice controls. Work practice controls are profession-specific, written procedures that outline how audiology-related procedures will be executed in a manner consistent with minimizing the potential spread of disease or cross-contamination. Since every clinic will differ in terms of breadth of services provided, the number of work practice control to be included in a written plan will depend on the number of services provided at that specific clinic. Furthermore, since executing an audiology procedure may be associated with a range of acceptable variations consistent with infection control standards, work practice controls for the same clinical procedure may differ from one clinic to the next.
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