Dialogue Volume 14 Issue 3 2018 - Page 25

PRACTICE PARTNER Physicians urged to work with clinic owners to implement infection control measures I n medical practices, there are ample opportunities for infection to be transmitted. Infectious agents are not only spread person-to-person, but can also be spread indirectly through inanimate ob jects. And the waiting room of any clini- cal office practice can be a source for a whole host of communicable diseases. As such, protective mechanisms Infection must be in place, not only in direct Control and Prevention patient management but in handling of the clinical office environment as well. If it is the physician’s own practice, it is clear to everyone that it would be the physician who bears the responsibility for ensuring that infection control and pre- vention measures are in place. However, a number of clinics in Ontario are owned by individuals who are not health-care pro- fessionals and who may have little or no awareness of appropriate infection control practices. In the course of conducting inspections in these facilities, physicians working at the clinics have sometimes taken the position that it is not their responsibil- ity to ensure infection control practices are followed, because they do not own the clinic nor do they manage it and, in fact, are often not even full-time employees. The College takes the position that each physician is responsible for ensur- ing proper infection control principles are being followed, and this includes working with employers/owners to ensure that their practice setting supports them in meeting the standard of practice set out by the CPSO and ensuring patients are safe. The College’s expectations about infection prevention and control are set out in the Infection Prevention and Control Handbook for Clinical Office Practice, developed by The Provincial Infection Diseases Advisory Com- mittee on Infection Prevention and Control in collaboration with the College which is available on our website. MD ISSUE 3, 2018 DIALOGUE 25