Action 3.08 states

Members of the workforce apply standard precautions and transmission-based precautions whenever required, and consider:

  1. Patients’ risks, which are evaluated at referral, on admission or on presentation for care, and re-evaluated during care
  2. Whether a patient has a communicable disease, or an existing or a pre-existing colonisation or infection with organisms of local or national significance
  3. Accommodation needs and patient placement to prevent and manage infection risks
  4. The risks to the wellbeing of patients in isolation
  5. Environmental control measures to reduce risk, including but not limited to heating, ventilation and water systems; workflow design; facility design; surface finishes
  6. Precautions required when a patient is moved within the facility or between external services
  7. The need for additional environmental cleaning or disinfection processes and resources
  8. The type of procedure being performed
  9. Equipment required for routine care

Intent

Exposure of patients or the workforce to infectious agents that cannot be contained by standard precautions alone is minimised. Risk is assessed at all access opportunities to the health service organisation, and necessary precautions are implemented and maintained for as long as necessary.

Reflective questions

  • What resources are developed to support the workforce in correctly applying standard and transmission-based precautions?
  • Are resources such as the local Public Health Unit case management protocols used to inform practice relating to management of patients with communicable diseases?
  • How does the health service organisation assess the level of environmental cleaning that is required? What processes are in place for assessing the risks associated with ventilation, heating and cooling systems?
  • Has the health service organisation considered how it will manage infections risks if any of its buildings are used as emergency accommodation centres, for example, during a natural disaster, or if the facilities are repurposed for use by acute clinical services, for example, during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • How does the workforce determine when to apply standard and transmission-based precautions?
  • How does the workforce collaborate on assessing, managing and communicating infection risks when a patient presents for care or is scheduled to receive treatment?
  • How are the Comprehensive Care Standard and the National Safety and Quality Digital Mental Health Standards used to assess and support the wellbeing of clients in isolation?

Examples of evidence

  • Evidence of processes used by the workforce to ensure that standard and appropriate transmission-based precautions are used to mitigate the risk of communicable diseases or infectious agents of local, national and international significance (e.g., ordering of procedure lists)
  • Committee and meeting records in which infection risks and precautions to manage them were discussed
  • Evidence of resources available to support staff to apply appropriate standard precautions and transmission-based precautions whenever required Audit and reports on workforce compliance with policies and processes for standard and transmission-based precautions
  • Examples of activities that have been implemented and evaluated to improve assessment and management of infection risks
  • Cleaning schedules that outline requirements associated with infection risk
  • Observation of workforce appropriately using standard and transmission-based precautions
  • Observation of clear and accurate clinical documentation of patients' infection risks at referral, on admission, on presentation for care and for the duration of patient care
  • Observation of implementation of electronic alert flags for infection risks
  • Observation of implementation of infection control signage
  • Observation of appropriate patient placement which includes consideration of infection risks and the risks to the wellbeing of the patient
  • Feedback from consumers on workforce compliance with policies and processes for standard and transmission-based precautions
  • Observation of physical and environmental controls for managing the risk of transmission of infectious agents
  • Observation that relevant equipment, including PPE, is available to the workforce and is used by the workforce
  • Examples of policies, processes or care plans that consider the wellbeing of patients in isolation and improvement activities to support patients and carers

See also: