Infection Prevention and Control

What is an infection prevention and control (IPAC) lapse?
An IPAC lapse occurs when a best practice is not followed and as a result, there is a risk of infection to clients.

Best practices for IPAC are set by:

  • Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee (PIDAC),
  • Public Health Ontario (PHO), and
  • Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC)

An example of a best practice is proper cleaning and sterilization of re-usable medical equipment. When there is a lapse in a cleaning process, the risk of a client being infected goes up. This can be due to exposure to other people's blood or body fluids.

Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Lapse Reports
Best practices for infection prevention and control (IPAC) keep clients safe. An IPAC lapse occurs when a best practice is not followed and there is a risk of infectious disease to clients.

The following sites had IPAC lapses within the last 2 years:

Ottawa Public Health’s Mandate to Protect the Public’s Health   
By law, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) investigates infection prevention and control (IPAC) complaints in healthcare settings. OPH is not required to routinely assess IPAC in healthcare settings. Healthcare professionals like physicians, nurses and dentists are regulated by professional colleges. These colleges make sure that IPAC best practices are followed.

Unlike for healthcare settings, OPH routinely and regularly inspects businesses that offer:

  • Tattooing,
  • Body and ear piercing,
  • Manicures,
  • Pedicures,
  • Hairdressing/barbering,
  • Permanent makeup,
  • Spa treatments,
  • Hair removal,
  • Facials.

View the routine inspection reports.

If you have a concern about IPAC, please connect with OPH.

What does Ottawa Public Health (OPH) do when they receive an infection prevention and control (IPAC) complaint?
OPH starts an investigation within 24 hours of receiving a complaint. This investigation will show if an IPAC lapse has occurred. OPH may require the healthcare site to make changes to protect the public’s health. This investigation will also outline what actions need to happen to restore IPAC best practices.

When an investigation shows that an IPAC lapse occurred, OPH is required to post a report of this lapse on its website.

If an IPAC lapse involves a healthcare professional, OPH notifies the appropriate regulatory college. Regulatory colleges are responsible for licensing healthcare professionals such as doctors, dentists, and nurses to practice medicine, dentistry, and nursing. 

Do the reports posted on this website contain the full investigation findings?
The reports posted on this website and on the website of the Board of Health are summaries. To view a full investigation report, you must submit a formal request for information.  
How long are infection prevention and control (IPAC) lapse reports posted on the web?
As per the MOHLTC’s Infection Prevention and Control Disclosure Protocol, 2018, all final reports are posted on our website for two years. After two years, the reports are archived by Ottawa Public Health and are no longer accessible on the web.
How do I make a complaint?
Call 613-580-6744 to speak with a public health inspector during regular business hours, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm or 613-580-2400 or 3-1-1 after hours.
Contact information
If you would like further information regarding these investigations please contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 or at healthsante@ottawa.ca.  

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