Standard and transmission-based precautions
Standard precautions are the primary strategy for minimising the transmission of healthcare-associated infections. Standard precautions must be used when providing care to all patients, regardless of whether they have an infection or not. Standard precautions involve:
In certain situations, the use of standard precautions alone may not be enough to limit the spread of infection. When this occurs, transmission-based precautions are required. There are three types of transmission-based precautions: contact, droplet and airborne precautions. One or more types of transmission-based precautions may be required, depending on how an infection is spread between people.
There are different personal protective equipment and patient placement requirements for standard precautions and transmission-based precautions. The table below provides a general overview of these requirements by precaution type. A local risk assessment should always be undertaken to determine the most appropriate personal protective equipment and patient placement for the delivery of care.
Source: Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare (2019)
Infection control signage
It is important to use consistent infection prevention and control posters to communicate infection risk and the precautions required to minimise this risk in the healthcare setting. The Commission has developed a suite of standardised posters for acute care facilities, to increase healthcare worker awareness of the necessary precautions to be applied for all patients (standard precautions) and for those patients who require transmission-based precautions, due to a known or suspected infection. The use of standardised infection prevention and control posters can help health service organisations meet the requirements of the National Safety and Quality in Healthcare (NSQHS) Standards, Preventing and controlling infections for Standard and transmission-based precautions, Action 3.8 and Action 3.9.