Action 3.09 states

The health service organisation has processes to:

  1. Review data on and respond to infections in the community that may impact patients and the workforce
  2. Communicate details of a patient’s infectious status during an episode of care, and at transitions of care
  3. Provide relevant information to a patient, their family and carers about their infectious status, infection risks and the nature and duration of precautions to minimise the spread of infection

Intent

Local epidemiology of infections is considered, and a patient’s known or suspected colonisation or infection risks are communicated to an admitting, transferring or referring facility to minimise exposure of patients, the workforce and visitors to infectious agents.

Reflective questions

  • What data does the organisation review to be informed of infections in the community? How is this data used to manage patient flow and workforce capacity?
  • What systems are in place to ensure the appropriate handling of sensitive information related to infection status?
  • How are consumers and their carers advised if they have an infection or are colonised with a pathogen? What modalities are used to deliver this information? When is this information delivered? How is it confirmed that the patient and carer understand this information?
  • How is the patient's healthcare record used to communicate infection status?
  • How does the organisation communicate the consumer's infectious status when care is transferred within or outside the organisation?
  • How does the organisation ensure the client’s infectious status is known when admitting a patient or transferring a patient out of its care?
  • Does the workforce know how to access consumer factsheets on infectious diseases published by their organisation, jurisdiction or by national organisations?
  • How are consumers and their carers informed of the precautions they can take to prevent and minimise the spread of infection? When and how is this information conveyed to consumers and their carers?
  • What processes and resources are in place to support consumers and their carers in preventing and minimising the spread of infection?

Example of evidence

  • Policy documents for the review and response to data on infections in the community
  • Policy documents about communicating infections risks when care is transferred within and outside the health service organisations (e.g. handover protocols, discharge summary protocols
  • Policy documents about clinical communications and communicating infections risks within the care team and with the patient and their carers
  • Audit results of documentation of infectious status
  • Audit results of compliance with the processes for communicating infectious status
  • Observation of patient healthcare records documenting that the patient has been advised of their infectious status and understands what this information means
  • Observation of patient healthcare records documenting that the patient's infectious status was included in the clinical handover (e.g. handover sheets, discharge forms, discharge summary, transfer forms)
  • Observation of handover discussion within clinical team that is inclusive of communication of a patient's infectious status (e.g. end of nursing shift handover, transfer of care discussion)
  • Observation of post screening or discharge discussion with patient/carer that is inclusive of communication of a patient's infectious status
  • Observation of infection status alerts in the electronic healthcare record
  • Resources developed and evaluated by consumers about infection risks, and infection prevention and control strategies
  • Examples of resources developed and evaluated by consumers, providing information to consumers their families and carers about their infectious status
  • Examples of clinical communications where infection status is discussed

See also: