Infection Control Assessment and Response (ICAR)

Proactive Onsite Infection Prevention & Control Assessments with VDH

Health department staff conduct proactive infection prevention and control (IPC) assessments at healthcare facilities that are not experiencing an outbreak. The assessments are not regulatory and are designed to identify a facility’s IPC program strengths and areas for opportunity.

During these onsite visits, health department staff assist healthcare facilities in reviewing current infection prevention practices and provide recommendations for improvement. The proactive assessments are conducted using a standardized set of infection control assessment and response (ICAR) tools developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These tools may also be used by healthcare facilities as self-assessments to conduct internal quality improvement even after the visit.


All Virginia acute and long-term acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, outpatient clinics, and outpatient dialysis facilities are eligible to request proactive onsite IPC assessments.


Completion of an ICAR assessment and site visit, along with a facility commitment to take measures to implement VDH recommendations to improve infection prevention and control practices.

Benefits to Participation

  • Enhance your facility’s IPC capacity
  • Receive free resources and recommendations to address IPC areas identified for improvement
  • Strengthen the collaborative relationship between your healthcare facility and VDH

Proactive ICARs: What to Expect

Reactive Infection Prevention & Control Assessments

Infection prevention and control assessments can also be conducted in response to an outbreak or known infection prevention concern. This type of assessment is called a reactive IPC assessment or reactive ICAR. The VDH HAI/AR Program recommends that a reactive ICAR be conducted when there has been an infection control breach (e.g., unsafe injection practices identified) or in response to certain types of outbreaks (e.g., Candida auris, MRSA in a neonatal intensive care unit, invasive group A Strep in an acute care or long-term care facility). Reactive assessments may include COVID-19 ICARs as well, which can be done via an onsite visit or virtually (teleICAR) in certain circumstances. For questions regarding reactive ICARs and/or teleICARs, please contact

Additional questions about ICARs? Please contact

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