Action 3.16 states

The health service organisation has risk-based processes for preventing and managing infections in the workforce that:

  1. Are consistent with the relevant state or territory work health and safety regulation and the current edition of the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare
  2. Align with state and territory public health requirements for workforce screening and exclusion periods
  3. Manage risks to the workforce, patients and consumers, including for novel infections
  4. Promote non-attendance at work and avoiding visiting or volunteering when infection is suspected or actual
  5. Monitor and manage the movement of staff between clinical areas, care settings, amenity areas and health service organisations
  6. Manage and support members of the workforce who are required to isolate and quarantine following exposure to or acquisition of an infection
  7. Provide for outbreak monitoring, investigation and management
  8. Plan for, and manage, ongoing service provision during outbreaks and pandemics or events in which there is increased risk of transmission of infection

Intent

The health service organisation has processes for preventing and managing infections in the workforce to minimise the risks to the workforce, patients and consumers, including for novel infections and during outbreaks.

Reflective questions

  • Are the organisation's policies and processes for preventing and managing infections in the workforce consistent with relevant state or territory work health and safety regulations and the current edition of the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare?
  • Are policies and processes consistent with state and territory public health requirements for workforce screening and exclusion periods?
  • Does the organisation's outbreak management plan address monitoring, investigation and management of the workforce?
  • How does the organisation encourage staff to not attend work if they are unwell?
  • What systems are in place to facilitate workforce compliance with policies and procedures to prevent and manage infections in the workforce?
  • What support is provided to members of the workforce who are required to isolate or quarantine following an exposure to, or who have acquired an infection? What systems are in place to ensure their confidentiality?
  • How does the organisation ensure high-quality care continues when the workforce numbers decrease as a result of mandatory workforce absences or furloughing?
  • How does the organisation monitor and manage the movement of staff between clinical areas, care settings, amenity areas and health service organisations?

Examples of evidence

  • Policies, procedures and/or protocols for preventing and managing infections in the workforce that are consistent with relevant state or territory work health and safety regulation, state and territory public health requirements for workforce screening and exclusion periods, and the current edition of the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare
  • Outbreak management protocols that address workforce monitoring, investigation and management
  • Risk assessment and risk management plans that identify risks to the workforce, patients and consumers, including for novel infections
  • Protocols for liaison and collaboration with local infectious diseases and public health teams to respond to and manage staff with notifiable infections.
  • A register of exposure-prone procedures that take place in the organisation
  • Registers of workforce and volunteer orientation and training
  • Registers of staff training and competency assessments for exposure-prone procedures
  • Availability of a workforce support program
  • Maintenance and audit of volunteer schedules including orientation and training records  
  • Audits of patient healthcare records where a notifiable disease has been diagnosed, to ensure appropriate follow up of the workforce including volunteers
  • Evidence of processes that support the workforce to not attend work when unwell
  • Evidence of processes to monitor and manage the movement of staff within the organisation
  • Workforce records that detail furloughing and quarantine periods
  • Reports from incident and risk management systems and recommendations for improvements
  • Evidence of business continuity and communication planning that involves the workforce and consumers that addresses infection prevention and control

See also: