Preventing and Controlling Healthcare-Associated Infection Standard
Leaders of a health service organisation describe, implement and monitor systems to prevent, manage or control healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial resistance, to reduce harm and achieve good health outcomes for patients. The workforce uses these systems.
Intention of this standard
The Preventing and Controlling Healthcare-Associated Infection Standard aims to improve infection prevention and control measures to help prevent infections, and the spread of antimicrobial resistance through the appropriate prescribing and use of antimicrobials.
Systems are in place to support and promote prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections, and improve antimicrobial stewardship.
Evidence-based systems are used to prevent and control healthcare-associated infections. Patients presenting with, or with risk factors for, infection or colonisation with an organism of local, national or global significance are identified promptly, and receive the necessary management and treatment. The health service organisation is clean and hygienic.
Reprocessing of reusable equipment, instruments and devices is consistent with relevant current national standards, and meets current best practice.
Background to this standard
Many healthcare-associated infections are thought to be preventable. Australian and overseas studies have demonstrated mechanisms to reduce the rate of infections associated with health care. Infection prevention and control practice aims to minimise the risk of transmission by identifying and isolating patients harbouring infectious agents and resistant organisms. However, just as there is no single cause of infection, there is no single solution to preventing infections. Successful infection prevention and control practice requires a variety of strategies across the healthcare system.
The Preventing and Controlling Healthcare-Associated Infection Standard has been developed in line with the recommendations and evidence in the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare. This standard aims to prevent patients from acquiring preventable healthcare-associated infections, and to effectively manage these infections when they occur by using evidence-based strategies. It should be applied in conjunction with the Clinical Governance Standard, the Partnering with Consumers Standard and the Medication Safety Standard.
Although infection prevention and control programs have essential elements that must be considered, it is expected that programs will be tailored to reflect the local context and risk. Key tasks will be tailored to reflect the complexity of services offered and the risks associated with delivery of services in the organisation. Regardless of the size or type of the health service organisation, successful implementation of this standard depends on clinicians and executive leaders working together within a strong governance framework.