Standard 3 - Requirement (3) (g)
Minimisation of infection-related risks through implementing:
a. standard and transmission-based precautions to prevent and control infection; and
b. practices to promote appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use to support optimal care and reduce the risk of increasing resistance to antibiotics.
Intent of this requirement
Organisations are expected to minimise infection-related risks in two ways.
Organisations are expected to assess the risk of, and take steps to prevent, detect and control the spread of infections. This includes infections related to providing care. Infection management, such as isolating infectious causes or consumers, and applying standards and precautions to prevent transmission, minimises the risk of transmission.
It’s expected that organisations develop and implement an effective infection prevention and control program that is in line with national guidelines. Infection prevention and control programs will vary in scope and complexity depending on the nature of the care and services the organisation provides the context and risk. Hand washing is the most effective means of preventing infection transmission.
As part of effective influenza infection control, organisations providing residential aged care need to offer its workforce influenza vaccinations and keep records of these vaccinations. They also need to promote the benefits of the vaccinations.
Ideal use of antibiotics means treating consumers ‘with the right antibiotic to treat their confirmed condition, the right dose, by the right route at the right time and for the right duration based on accurate assessment and timely review’.
Using antimicrobials incorrectly, including antibiotics, can cause antimicrobial resistant (AMR) infections. AMR infections affect consumers’ safety and well-being because treatments are more complex and longer and can cause more disease and deaths. AMR infections not only affect the individual consumer, but can also spread and affect other people. Good use of antimicrobials makes sure they continue to be effective. This is key to providing safe and effective care to consumers. It also reduces the growth in resistant organisms.
Organisations providing care and services need to help to minimise the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance in line with the national guidelines.
- What systems and processes has the organisation implemented to prevent and control infection and to support appropriate use of antimicrobials?
- How does the organisation know whether hand washing practices are effective and in line with national hand hygiene guidelines?
- What are the influenza immunisation rates for staff and consumers in residential services? How can these be increased?
- What is the organisation’s plan for managing an infectious outbreak? Are there systems in place for managing consumers with known infections?
- Are there processes for communicating protocols where the care takes place and between the workforce or providers, organisations or individuals where care and services are shared?
- How does the organisation apply risk management principles to implement systems for a clean environment and equipment?
- How does the organisation promote infection control and appropriate antibiotic prescribing practices to the workforce, consumers and others to enhance effectiveness?
Examples of actions and evidence
- Consumers are confident in the organisation’s ability to manage an infectious outbreak.
- Consumers and their representatives have been given information on how to minimise the spread of infections, such as hand washing.
- Consumers’ and representatives’ observations of members of the workforce confirm that they practice good hand hygiene and help consumers to do the same.
Workforce and others
- Staff say the organisation has told them about the benefits of the influenza vaccination and offered them an influenza vaccination each year.
- The workforce can describe the practical steps they take to reduce the risk of increasing resistance to antibiotics.
- The organisation’s management describe how it supports members of the workforce to understand and promote appropriate prescribing of antibiotics.
- Records show that the organisation educates relevant members of the workforce in antimicrobial resistance and strategies to reduce the risk of increasing resistance to antibiotics.
- Workforce orientation and training or other records that show how the organisation supports the workforce to follow the organisation’s infection prevention and control program and how to meet this requirement.
- Evidence of a documented infection prevention and control program.
- Records evidencing workforce influenza immunisation program, up-to-date records of staff flu vaccinations, and evidence of methods to promote the benefits of vaccination to staff.
- An outbreak management plan, such as for gastroenteritis or influenza, that explains how the organisation will prepare for, identify and manage any outbreaks. Evidence of how the organisation will educate the workforce on outbreak management and their roles and responsibilities.
- Care and services plans that identify consumer infections and any transmission-based precautions implemented by the workforce. Relevant details of how a consumer’s infectious status is clearly and sensitively communicated if care is shared.
- A current list of infectious diseases that the organisation needs to tell government authorities. Contacts at relevant state or territory government departments that can help prepare for, identify and manage any outbreaks are documented and readily available to relevant members of the workforce.
- Evidence of antimicrobial stewardship policy and processes to support appropriate administration of antibiotics.
- Evidence of care strategies used to minimise the need for antibiotics (such as measures to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections or treat minor skin infections).
- Policy documents that detail infection prevention and control procedures that include risk assessment and risk management strategies, and instructions for the workforce.
- Data that is used to monitor infections and resolution rates and the effectiveness of the infection prevention and control program.
- Action plans for improvement based on the risk assessment of the organisation’s infection prevention and control systems.