Better Hearing Australia (National) is the longest running and only independent hearing advocacy and consumer advice organisation in Australia. Immediate measures include making sure that mirror handles are clean before sterilisation, operator care in the use of sharp instruments, use of high volume evacuation to reduce aerosolisation caused by this treatment and wearing of masks by operator and assistant.
In primary care and other office-based practice, examples of appropriate implementation of droplet precautions include segregation in waiting rooms for patients with violent Clinic cleaners or frequent coughing, and the availability of tissues, alcohol-based handrub and a waste bin so that patients can practice respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.
The literature emphasises the importance of documenting all procedures involving the catheter or drainage system in the patient's records and providing patients with adequate information in relation to the need for catheterisation and details of the insertion, maintenance and removal of their catheter.
Extra work practices in situations where standard precautions alone may be insufficient to prevent infection (e.g. for patients known or suspected to be infected or colonised with infectious agents that may not be contained with standard precautions alone).
This section gives an outline of a systematic approach that has been shown to be effective (care bundles), together with examples of the organisational support required at facility level to address two crucial areas of infection prevention and control— reducing sharps injuries to healthcare workers and lowering the incidence in patients of bloodstream infections associated with intravascular devices.
Standard precautions are used by healthcare workers to prevent or reduce the likelihood of transmission of infectious agents from one person or place to another, and to render and maintain objects and areas as free as possible from infectious agents.
The Infection Control Steering Committee (the Committee) will oversee and provide expertise in the revision of the Infection control guidelines for the prevention of transmission of infectious disease in the health care setting (2004) (the Guidelines).
The factsheets aim to inform patients, visitors, families and carers about healthcare associated infection, what activities healthcare facilities may have in place to make sure infections are prevented as much as possible, and what they can do to limit the spread of infections.
Exposure prone procedures (EPPs) are invasive procedures where there is potential for direct contact between the skin, usually finger or thumb of the healthcare worker, and sharp surgical instruments, needles, or sharp body parts (e.g. fractured bones), spicules of bone or teeth in body cavities or in poorly visualised or confined body sites, including the mouth of the patient.
As well as being installed in all patient-care areas, hand-hygiene facilities should be placed in all areas where careful attention to hygiene is essential, such as kitchens, laundries, pharmacies, laboratories and staff amenities areas (e.g. bathrooms, toilets and change rooms).
Where there is a risk of a healthcare worker transmitting infection to a patient or other healthcare worker (e.g. if he or she is infected with an acute or other transmissible infection, carries a blood borne virus, or has a predisposing skin condition), the healthcare worker should be counselled about work options and either rostered appropriately or provided with equipment, information and facilities to enable him or her to perform their duties without placing others at risk.
The chapters outline the main components of a systems approach to facility-wide infection prevention and control, giving guidance on management and staff responsibilities, protection of healthcare workers, requirements for education and training of all staff, considerations for facility design and renovation, and other important activities such as surveillance and antibiotic stewardship.