The quick observation tools created by the CDC and APIC are designed to help users conduct infection-prevention assessments of specific settings, such as a vaccine storage area.

Photo courtesy of the Centers for disease control and Prevention

Three hospitals were chosen to participate in an infection-prevention pilot program developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.; Summit Health’s Chambersburg (Penn.) Hospital; and Central Montana Medical Center in Lewistown adopted a set of tools to empower health care staff to assess their work areas.

The pilot sites pulled from a library of quick observation tools (QUOTs) that consist of ready-to-use assessment cards to touch on various factors of infection prevention in a given space.

For instance, the vaccine-storage assessment comprises six questions to ensure that certain measures have taken place, such as setting temperatures within appropriate ranges, and having safeguards like self-closing hinges and door alarms in place. The free resources were recently made available to the field.

Denise Jimmerson, R.N., infection preventionist at Central Montana Medical Center, participated in the pilot program and noted the value of the tools.

“Staff began to connect the dots that the environment and available supplies support infection-prevention behaviors,” she says.