Routine Practices

Infection Prevention & Control

Routine practices help prevent the spread of infections. Routine practices enable staff to protect themselves and others from the transmission of microorganisms They are Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) practices that should be used in the routine care of patients to assist in breaking the chain of infection. These routine practices should be implemented for all patients, in all settings where healthcare is delivered, at all times, regardless of diagnosis or infection status. Some of these routine practices may also apply to situations within Alberta Health Services (AHS) where patients are not present. They include:

Routine Practices Information Sheets: Care-specific Setting | Chain of Infection | Infection Prevention and Control Risk Assessment (IPC RA) | Patient Placement or Accommodation | Safe Patient Ambulation | Respiratory Hygiene | Environmental and Equipment Cleaning | Appropriate Handling of Linen, Waste, and Sharps

Chain of Infection

The chain of infection illustrates how an organism is transmitted. There is no beginning and no end, so the chain can start at any of the links. Infectious illnesses can be prevented by applying infection prevention and control practices that break one or more of the links in the chain.

Respiratory Hygiene

Respiratory hygiene is the recommended method for preventing transmission of respiratory illness, particularly in health- care settings.

Quite simply it is the right way to cover your cough!

4 Key Elements

  1. Covering cough/sneeze with a sleeve or tissue
  2. Disposing of used tissues in garbage
  3. Washing hands after coughing or sneezing
  4. Masking when in waiting room with influenza symptoms (cough and fever)

Support Materials

Environmental and Equipment Cleaning



Appropriate Handling of Linen, Waste, and Sharps


  • Domestic Laundry Machine
  • See AHS Intranet > Home > Teams > Nutrition, Food, Linen & Environmental Services > Policy & Practice Documents for AHS LS resources


  • Waste Management Policy
  • See AHS Intranet > Teams > Nutrition, Food, Linen & Environmental Services > Waste Management