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Public hospital infection control program
Page contents: Overview | Infection Control and Cleaning reporting requirements | Cleaning | Infection Control | Hand Hygiene
The effective prevention, monitoring and control of infections are an integral part of the quality and safety and clinical risk management operations of any health service. While not all health care acquired infections can be prevented, the department and health services can ensure that systems are in place to minimise their occurance.
The key components for the prevention and control of health care infections are:
Infection Control and Cleaning reporting requirements
The Victorian Public Health Services, Performance and Accountability Framework is one of the mechanisms used by the Department of Human Services to formally monitor health service performance. From July 2007 the Cleaning Standards and VICNISS participation have been included as measurements for the – Quality, Key Performance Indicators.
Cleaning standards aim to improve quality health care provision by reducing the burden of pathogenic organisms, and ensuring that all risks involving cleaning are identified and managed in an appropriate manner, irrespective of cleaning service provider arrangements. The standards are focused on the outcome or output sought, rather than the method by which it is achieved.
The cleaning key performance indicator aims to maintain the hospitals standard of cleanliness according to the Victorian Cleaning Standards.
Research has demonstrated that up to one third of hospital acquired infections can be prevented with high intensity hospital acquired infection surveillance and control programs (Haley et al. 1985).
The infection control data compliance key performance indicators aim to improve the quality of infection control data reported to the Victorian Hospital Acquired Infection Surveillance System (VICNISS) Coordinating Centre.
The major transmission route for multi-resistant organisms (MROs) in health care facilities is by direct contact via the hands of health care workers or possibly indirectly via contaminated equipment that is not cleaned between patients. Therefore, there has been resurgence in the promotion of hand hygiene as an effective method of preventing transmission of infections.
In 2004, the Victorian Quality Council initiated and funded the Victorian Hand Hygiene Project as a pilot in six Victorian public hospitals to reduce the incidence of hospital acquired infections. The project actively promoted the use of alcohol hand rubs for all health care workers, carried out observational studies to monitor hand hygiene compliance, provided feedback to staff, and monitored methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) rates. The VQC project was then successfully rolled out during 2005–06 to all public hospitals in Victoria. From July 2007 the Department of Human Services has continued the Victorian Quality Council (VQC) hand hygiene project.
All health services are required to: