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Preventing & Controlling Healthcare-Associated Infection

April 05, 2021

Why is this important?

Many healthcare-associated infections are thought to be preventable. Australian and overseas studies have demonstrated mechanisms to reduce the rate of infections associated with healthcare. Infection prevention and control practice aims to minimize the risk of transmission by identifying and isolating patients harboring infectious agents and resistant organisms. However, just as there is no single cause of infection, there is no single solution to preventing infections. Successful infection prevention and control practice requires a variety of strategies across the healthcare system.
Common Hospital Acquired Infections:

Bloodstream Infection (source: venepuncture/ IVC/ PICC/suction drains)

Urinary Tract Infection (source: indwelling catheter)

Chest Infection/Pneumonia (source: ICC)

Superbugs are strains of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi that are resistant to most of the antibiotics and other medications commonly used to treat the infections that they cause. Since the inception of antibiotics, the bacteria they treat have been adapting and changing in order to build up resistance.

Examples of Superbugs:
  • Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus – often called ‘golden staph’ or MRSA
  • Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus – also referred to as VRE
  • Carbapenemase Resistant Enterobacteriaceae – also referred to as CRE


Where and how would you access the infection prevention guidelines ?

How do you prevent infections for your patients?

  • Hand hygiene/ANTT training
  • Complete ID screening tool
  • Proper use of PPE i.e. gloves, goggles, masks and gown/apron
  • Follow transmission based precautions, bare below the elbow
  • Aseptic technique
  • 5 moments of hand hygiene
  • Remove indwelling devices when required
  • Clean shared patient equipment after use

How do you involve your patients in infection prevention?

  • Take the time to explain and answer questions about infections eg droplet/contact precautions.
  • Inform patients ‘it’s OK to ask’ health care workers to wash their hands
  • Provide patient information brochures found here!
  • Promote hand washing/hand hygiene with ABHR for patients and visitors

How do you know if your patient has an infection or requires precautions?

  • Complete ID screening tool on admission
  • EMR alerts

When should you use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and where is it kept ?

  • When there is a risk of transmitting an infection or exposure to blood or other body substances


Do you know where PPE is kept? – Gloves, masks, goggles and aprons



Click to find out how!

Hand Wash                    Hand Rub                            5 Moments of Hand Hygiene                              ANTT