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Resources for Preventing Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Lapses
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​An IPAC lapse occurs when there is deviation from IPAC best practices resulting in possible infectious disease transmission to patients, clients or staff through exposure to blood, body fluids, secretions, excretions, mucous membranes, non-intact skin or soiled items. The best practices are identified in the Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee’s (PIDAC) Routine Practices and Additional Precautions document.

Public health units investigate IPAC lapses and provide support and resources as outlined in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s (MOHLTC) Ontario Public Health Standards and Protocols. Public Health Ontario (PHO) provides scientific and technical advice to local public health units during an investigation including consultations and risk assessments, as required.

PHO has developed resources to support the prevention and investigation of IPAC lapses in community settings. These settings include clinics, clinical office practice settings, family health teams, community health, and personal services settings.

Antimicrobial stewardship strategiesIPAC checklists for dental practice settings

These checklists were developed to assist public health units and others during IPAC lapse investigations and can be used to conduct inspections, audits and reviews of IPAC programs in dental practice settings:

•  IPAC Core Elements in Dental Practice Settings
•  Reprocessing in Dental Practice Settings


Antimicrobial stewardship strategiesFrequently asked questions

Updated December 15, 2017

PHO has compiled a list of frequently asked IPAC lapse questions. The recent update includes a new section - Office Design/ Facilities and additional guidance on reprocessing and sterilizers.  If you have any questions please contact


 Priority IPAC practices

Two areas of IPAC practices most commonly identified as needing attention during lapse consultations and risk assessments are reprocessing and medication administration.

 Photo of steralizing equipment 


Achieving effective disinfection and sterilization is essential for ensuring that medical and surgical equipment/devices do not transmit infectious pathogens to patients, clients or staff.

Best Practices for Cleaning, Disinfection and Sterilization of Medical Equipment/Devices

Reprocessing in the Community Course

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Medication administration

Transmission of blood-borne pathogens (Hepatitis B,
Hepatitis C and HIV) can occur from unsafe and improper medication administration by injection and infusion. See below for resources that can help you reduce this risk.

Top 5 high risk practice recommendations and guidance

Guidance for using multidose vials



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Hand hygiene videos

How to Hand Rub

How to Hand Wash

Personal protective equipment (PPE) videos

Facial Protection

Gown and Gloves


Full PPE

Page last reviewed:
Page last updated: 2018-04-30 2:44 PM
Uncontrolled print copy. Valid only on day of Print: [date]
Page updated on [date/time] 2018-04-30 2:44 PM
© , Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion