NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A new study shows medical staff at local outpatient facilities are not washing their hands enough and are not following safe injection procedures.

It’s a big concern given the headlines of infectious outbreaks in hospitals around the country.

A study done by University of New Mexico medical students and the state health department looked at 15 outpatient facilities throughout the state.

Medical students watched more than 160 shots given to patients over the course of a summer. What they found was that all steps to avoid infections were only used 66-percent of the time.

UNM social professor, Dr. Jim Cheek, says these findings actually aren’t surprising and fall right in line with what they see in hospital and long term facility settings.

He says the next step is taking a look at these findings and then working with the CDC to follow infection prevention procedures. Researchers say addressing this issue is important because there have been outbreaks and infection transmission to patients in outpatient settings.

“Really what this means for patients is that as we start to develop infection prevention, practices that will work in an outpatient settings. You’re less likely to get infected if you happen to go to your doctor’s office just for a routine visit,” said Dr. Cheek.

Despite these findings, Dr. Cheek says the general public should not be worried.

They’re going to take the preventative tools they’ve used in the past and apply them to outpatient facilities like doctors’ offices and urgent cares around the state.

To see the study, click here.