Infection prevention and control program assessment tools: A comparative study

Published:January 30, 2022DOI:


      • Core components of an effective IPCP were defined by the World Health Organization.
      • Ideal IPCP assessment tool is easy to apply and interpret, with minimal experience requirements.
      • All tools evaluated are useful for practical audits of the IPCP and benchmarking.
      • The IPCPE and IPCAF had highest frequency of positive responses in the dimensions of effectiveness and purpose, respectively.
      • Flexibility, speed, and decisive decision making is essential.


      Infection prevention and control program (IPCP) assessment tools help to identify the improvement needs. This study aimed to identify fit-for-purpose of 3 IPCP assessment tools.


      An exploratory mixed-method study was performed from 2018-2019 in Brazil, using a convenience sample of IPC professionals with various levels of experience to evaluate the IPCP tools: (1) the WHO Infection Prevention and Control Assessment Framework at the Facility Level (IPCAF), (2) the University of Sao Paulo IPCP tool (OGIPCP), and (3) the Infection Prevention and Control Programme Evaluation (IPCPE) tool. A quantitative survey followed by a semi-structured interview accessed the participants’ perceptions about these tools. Quantitative data analysis were descriptive and qualitative data were thematical.


      IPCPE was considered more complete, better for effectiveness, easy to apply, and with easily interpreted indicators. IPCAF was the best regarding to purpose, easy reporting, and interpretation; however, requires professional experience. OGIPCP have the fastest application, easy to understand, and easily calculated indicators, requiring less experience. Qualitative data endorsed the quantitative results and showed IPCPE and IPCAF tools as the most accepted.


      The 3 assessment tools for IPCP have similar potential for use to support improvements in the IPCP. The IPCPE and IPCAF were considered advantageous on the effectiveness and fit-for-purpose compared to OGIPCP, despite the higher familiarity of participants with this tool.

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