Safety and Quality > Our Work > Healthcare Associated Infection

The Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) Prevention Program aims to build on facility and jurisdictional initiatives to develop a national approach to reducing HAI by identifying and addressing systemic problems and gaps, and ensuring comprehensive actions are undertaken in a nationally coordinated way by leaders and decision makers in both public and private health care sectors.

Find out how hospital associated infections can impact on a person’s life and family in a short film produced by the Victorian Infection Control Professionals Association (VICPA).

Watch Glen’s Story

Key initiatives supporting the HAI Prevention Program:

National Infection Control Guidance

Non-tuberculous Mycobacterium associated with heater-cooler devices

Australian health service organisations should be aware of the infection risks associated with devices that have built-in water reservoirs. This guidance document outlines key actions that Australian health service organisations should take in relation to heater-cooler devices (HCDs) used during cardiac surgery. There is a specific risk that these devices may be contaminated with Mycobacterium chimaera, and that exposure of patients to the aerosolised exhaust from these devices may cause infection. M. chimaera infections may not be clinically apparent for several years after exposure.

This guidance should be read in conjunction with any instructions received from the device manufacturer and the following advisories from the Therapeutics Goods Administration:

Recommendations for the control of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE): A guide for acute care health facilities

The Commission has worked in partnership with the Australasian Society Infectious Diseases, Australasian College of Infection Prevention and Control, Public Health Laboratory Network and Australasian Society of Antimicrobials to develop recommendations for the management and testing of patients with CPE.

Supporting information and resources are also available.

Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative

The National Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative supports activities that optimise antimicrobial biotic use, improve patient outcomes and reduce the incidence of antimicrobial resistance in Australian hospitals.

Building Clinical Capacity

The Building Clinical Capacity initiative aims to address skill or knowledge-based gaps in infection control professions across healthcare settings.

National Surveillance

The National Surveillance Initiative seeks to explore options for a national surveillance system to monitor HAI and provide timely feedback to jurisdictions and clinicians. The result is an evidence-based and authoritative analysis that can ensure the messages derived from surveillance data can be turned into public health action for better health outcomes.

NSQHS Standard 3

The intention of NSQHS Standard 3 is to minimise the risk to patients in acquiring preventable infections and to enable the effective management of infections when they occur by using evidence-based strategies.

The Commission provides resources to assist with the implementation of NSQHS Standard 3.

Infection Control Guidelines

The National Infection Control Guidelines have been developed by NHMRC. Along with hand hygiene, surveillance and antimicrobial management programs, infection control is considered a key strategy in decreasing preventable HAI.

National Hand Hygiene Initiative

The National Hand Hygiene Initiative has been set up to develop a national hand hygiene culture-change program that will standardise hand hygiene practice and placement of alcohol-based hand rub in every Australian hospital.