Standard 3: Preventing and controlling ?healthcare associated infections

By Ryan Mccann
Monday, 13 October, 2014

At least half of healthcare associated infections are thought to be preventable. Data from Australia and overseas show that the rate of healthcare associated infections is reduced when specific interventions are put in place and maintained. These interventions also reduce the risk of developing resistant infectious agents and control the spread of healthcare associated infections to other people, such as patients and healthcare professionals.
The aim of Standard 3 is to prevent patients acquiring preventable healthcare associated infections and to effectively manage infections when they do occur.
The Guide accompanying Standard 3 includes strategies that can be applied in any healthcare setting – large or small, public or private, rural or urban. Application of these strategies has been shown to prevent and control healthcare associated infections. As part of their day-to-day practice, many healthcare professionals already perform many of the strategies. This means that many health services can put these strategies in place with only small changes to their existing processes.
What are the outcomes of implementing Standard 3 as measured by accreditation?
In 2013, 90% of the 275 health service organisations which undertook organisation-wide assessment against all the criteria in Standard 3 were found to have areas where improvements could be made, and they were given 120 days to make these changes.
These health services found: incorporating infection prevention and control into governance frameworks; reviewing policies and procedures; conducting risk assessments and developing risk management plans; and implementing training programs for infection prevention and control the most challenging.
After taking corrective action all health services met the requirements set out in Standard 3 within the 120 day period.
Continued support for health service organisations
Examples for each of the improvement strategies are included in the Safety and Quality Improvement Guide for Standard 3. The examples cover the intent of each strategy, evidence for why it is important, details for how it can be applied in different areas of practice and how to show it has been implemented. Additional resources to support implementation including online education modules and templates to help streamline the implementation process are available from the Commission’s web site.
Antibiotic Awareness Week 17-23 November 2014 Preserve the miracle of antibiotics: No action today, no cure tomorrow
Take part in Antibiotic Awareness Week to help meet the criteria of NSQHS Standard 3. Antibiotic Awareness Week is observed around the world and provides an opportunity to highlight the problem of antimicrobial resistance and promote the safe and judicious use of antimicrobials in hospitals and in the community.
Hospitals and healthcare providers are encouraged to participate in Antibiotic Awareness Week. The Commission has prepared resources to assist hospitals and health service organisations in planning activities for the week. 

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