Preventing and controlling infection

Evidence-based processes are used to prevent and control 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 healthcare service is clean and hygienic.

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Consumer outcome
My risk of getting or spreading an infection is assessed and minimised.

Intention of this standard

Evidence-based processes are used to prevent and control 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 healthcare service is clean and hygienic.

Standard and transmission-based precautions

3.04—The healthcare service has processes to apply standard and transmission-based precautions that are fit for the setting and consistent with the current edition of the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare, and jurisdictional requirements, and relevant jurisdictional laws and policies, including work health and safety laws.

Hand hygiene

3.05—The healthcare service has a hand hygiene process that is incorporated in its overarching infection prevention and control program as part of standard precautions and:

  1. Is consistent with the appropriate elements of the National Hand Hygiene Initiative, and jurisdictional requirements
  2. Supports the workforce and consumers to practise hand hygiene

Respiratory hygiene, cough etiquette and physical distancing

3.06—The healthcare service supports the workforce and consumers to practise respiratory hygiene, cough etiquette and physical distancing where relevant

Aseptic technique

3.07—Where aseptic technique is required as part of the provision of health care, the healthcare service has processes to:

  1. Identify procedures where aseptic technique applies
  2. Monitor healthcare providers’ practices to ensure compliance with the healthcare service’s policies and procedures on aseptic technique

Invasive medical devices

3.08—Where invasive medical devices are used, the healthcare service has processes for the appropriate use and management of invasive medical devices that are consistent with the current edition of the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare

Clean and safe environment

3.09—The healthcare service has processes to maintain a clean, safe and hygienic environment – in line with the current edition of the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare, and jurisdictional requirements – to:

  1. Respond to environment risks, including novel infections
  2. Require cleaning and disinfection using products listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods consistent with manufacturers’ instructions for use and recommended frequencies
  3. Provide access to training on cleaning processes for routine and outbreak situations, and novel infections

3.10—The healthcare service has processes to evaluate and respond to infection risks for:

  1. New and existing equipment, devices and products used in the healthcare service
  2. Clinical and non-clinical areas, and workplace amenity areas
  3. Maintaining, repairing and upgrading buildings, equipment, furnishings and fittings
  4. Handling, transporting and storage of linen
  5. Novel infections, and risks identified as part of a public health response or pandemic planning

Workforce screening and immunisation

3.11—The healthcare service has a risk-based workforce vaccine preventable diseases screening and immunisation process that:

  1. Is consistent with the current edition of the Australian Immunisation Handbook
  2. Is consistent with jurisdictional requirements for vaccine preventable diseases
  3. Identifies and addresses specific risks to the workforce, consumers and patients

Infections in the workforce

3.12—The healthcare service has risk-based processes for preventing and managing infections in the workforce that:

  1. Are consistent with the relevant state or territory work health 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 visitors, including for novel infections
  4. Promote non-attendance or remote-attendance at work and avoiding visiting or volunteering when infection is present or suspected
  5. Plan for, and manage, ongoing service provision during outbreaks and pandemics or events where there is increased risk of transmission of infection

Reprocessing of reusable medical devices

3.13—Where reusable equipment, instruments and devices are used, the healthcare service has:

  1. Processes for reprocessing that are consistent with relevant national and international standards, in conjunction with manufacturers’ guidelines
  2. A process for critical equipment, instruments, and devices that is capable of identifying the:
    • patient
    • procedure
    • reusable equipment, instruments and devices that were used for the procedure
  3. Processes to plan and manage reprocessing requirements and additional controls for novel and emerging infections

Antimicrobial stewardship

3.14—The healthcare service that prescribes, supplies and/or administers antimicrobials:

  1. Provides healthcare providers with access to, and promotes the use of, current evidence-based Australian therapeutic guidelines and resources on antimicrobial prescribing
  2. Incorporates core elements, recommendations and principles from the current Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard into service delivery
  3. Supports healthcare providers who prescribe antimicrobials to review compliance of antimicrobial prescribing against current local or Australian therapeutic guidelines
  4. Supports healthcare providers to identify the areas of improvement and takes action to increase the appropriateness of antimicrobial usage
  5. Has mechanisms to educate consumers about the risks, benefits and alternatives to antimicrobials for their condition