Key messages

  • National standards and guidelines support strategies for the prevention of healthcare-associated infection.
  • Victorian public health services are required to implement the national standards.
  • Standards for infection prevention enable the effective management of infections when they occur.

A range of standards and guidelines support consistent strategies for the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infection across Australia.

The National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards were developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) to drive the implementation of safety and quality systems and improve the quality of healthcare in Australia.

All hospitals and day procedure services and the majority of public dental services across Australia need to be accredited to the standards.

Victorian health services are required to develop locally specific risk management systems for infection prevention and control in line with the NSQHS Standards.

National Standard 3

The NSQHS Standards aim to improve the quality of health service provision in Australia with a nationally consistent statement on the level of care consumers should expect from health services.

Standard 3: Preventing and controlling healthcare-associated infections aims to minimise the risk to patients of acquiring preventable infections and enable the effective management of infections when they occur by using evidence-based strategies.

The ACSQHC has developed several resources to implement the NSQHS Standards, including Standard 3.

The Department of Health & Human Services has also developed resources to support Victorian health services to implement Standard 3 Preventing and Controlling Healthcare Associated Infections and achieve accreditation.

National infection control guidelines

The Australian guidelines for the prevention and control of infection in healthcare is a nationally accepted approach to infection prevention and control.

The guidelines focus on core principles of infection control and outline priority areas for health services. They provide a basis for healthcare workers to develop detailed protocols and processes for infection prevention and control, specific to local settings.

A range of tools and resources are available to implement the guidelines including standardised signs, online education modules and the Ossie Toolkit.

Pricing for quality

In 2014-15 Victoria implemented a ‘pricing for quality’ scheme, providing an opportunity to link funding allocations to discrete performance measures that demonstrate a health service’s success in reducing preventable harm and improving the quality of care. In 2015-16, one of the clinical areas of focus is eliminating the intensive care unit central line associated blood stream infection rate.

For further details, refer to Department of Health & Human Services Policy and funding guidelines 2015.

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