March 22, 2021

Standard 3 – What you need to know

In the lead up to organisation wide Accreditation from 24-28 May 2021, each week Northern Health will be focusing on a different Standard. You will hear from the Chairs of each Standard Committee on what you need to know.

This week we spoke to Associate Professor Craig Aboltins, Director Infectious Diseases about Standard 3: Preventing and Controlling Healthcare Associated Infections.

Dr Aboltins explained Infection Prevention is a very broad and diverse standard that effects all disciplines, departments and levels of the organisation. Infection Prevention mechanisms are in place to ensure that patients and staff are kept safe throughout their time at Northern health .

What is this standard about?

Healthcare associated infections are the most common complication that impacts on our patients while they are in hospital.  It is our responsibility to work with patients to ensure our systems and procedures protect them because many hospital acquired complications (HACs) are preventable.

At Northern Health, this standard looks like…. 

Standard 3 has a dedicated Infection Prevention service who lead a variety of work that occurs across the health service, but it relies on every employee in the organisation to be aware of the importance of the work and follow evidence based practices to protect our patients.

What are the top five ways staff can be prepared for Accreditation against this Standard?

  1. Ensure your immunisation status is up to date and if you have vaccinations outstanding in Cgov that you update your file.
  2. Complete your mandatory training – hand hygiene, PPE module and aseptic non-touch technique (ANTT)
  3. Antimicrobial stewardship is important – use evidence to engage your patients and ensure they understand their care. Champion antimicrobial stewardship for your patients.
  4. Be aware of quality activities in your area that have been undertaken to reduce risks for your patients.
  5. Ensure that you keep equipment and the patient environment clean.

What are the top questions staff needs to be able to answer about this Standard?

  1. Why might your patient be at increased risk of infection?
  2. How do we identify risk of infection in patients?
  3. What infection prevention strategies are in place for all your patients?
  4. What might you consider when a patients develops an infection?
  5. How do you communicate information about preventing infection to your patients and their families?
  6. What quality activities have you been involved in to reduce infection in on your unit?
  7. What is your role in Antimicrobial stewardship?
  8. Do you know your immunisation status?
  9. How do we reduce the risk of COVID-19 in our healthcare service?

Is there anything else you would like staff to know about this Standard?

Standard 3 is part of your daily work.  Be aware of the principles of good hand hygiene, aseptic non-touch technique and cleaning between patients.

Click here to learn more about Standard 3: Preventing and Controlling Healthcare Associated Infections.