Infection Prevention & Control
Infection Prevention starts with YOU
Corryong Health employs an Infection Prevention and Control Coordinator who works one day per week at the facility to oversee this area of the Health Service.
Germs can be spread by hands even when they look clean so hand washing or using a hand sanitizer can help to prevent the spread of infection in hospital. Visitors who are unwell with illnesses such as colds, stomach bugs or rashes should not visit patients.
Healthcare associated infections are a major and growing issue in both the hospital and community settings. This is also a priority area for the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare (ACSQHC) who set and monitor health service standards of care. Effective hand hygiene is the single most important way of preventing healthcare associated infections. Hand Hygiene is a general term referring to any action of hand cleansing. It includes washing hands with a soap solution and water or the use of a waterless antimicrobial hand rub.
Hand hygiene practices have been universally poor among health care workers for a number of reasons. When staff is busy they are less likely to wash their hands as often as they need to. They may not think they need to if their hands do not appear dirty although bugs are there even if they can't be seen. Some staff have experienced problems with skin irritation from frequent washing with soap solution and water.
There are particular times when staff must wash their hands. These are called the 5 moments of Hand Hygiene.
Before touching a patient
Before any procedure
After body/ fluid exposure risk
After touching a patient
After touching patient surroundings
Corryong Health expects all their staff to complete a training module on hand hygiene every year. The organisation also conducts checks to see if staff is actually washing their hands at the appropriate times. The results of these checks are monitored by the Department of Health who have set a target of 80% compliance which the facility is expected to achieve.
As hand hygiene is so important we encourage all our visitors to use the antimicrobial hand rub products to help prevent infections being brought into the health facility. The hand rub products can be found in a number of locations around our facility.
ANTIMICROBIAL STEWARDSHIP AND PRESCRIBING
Intensive use of antibiotics and lapses in basic infection control practices can promote the development and spread of multi-drug resistance in many organisms.
Along with infection control, hand hygiene and surveillance, antimicrobial stewardship is considered a key strategy in local and national programs to decrease Multi Resistant Organisms (MROs) and Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs). Effective antibiotic prescribing and adherence to the principles of prudent antibiotic use is essential.
The current Therapeutic Guidelines Antibiotic will form the basis for antibiotic protocols. Access to Therapeutic Guidelines is available via hard copy at the Acute and Nursing home desks or on line at Clinician’s Health Channel.
Antibiotic stewardship aims to optimise antimicrobial use among patients in order to reduce antibiotic resistance, improve patient outcomes and safety, and ensure cost-effective therapy.
Antibiotic stewardship involves implementing an antibiotic stewardship program and the continual monitoring and analysis of antibiotic usage, to track changes in antibiotic resistance and to monitor effects of containment strategies.
Requirements of the antibiotic stewardship program include:
Implementation of clinical guidelines that comply with Therapeutic Guidelines for Antibiotics
Formulary restriction and approval systems that include restriction of broad spectrum antibiotics to those patients where use is clinically justified
Clinical microbiology services reporting patient-specific culture and sensitivity results to optimise individual antibiotic management
Review of antibiotic prescribing with intervention and direct feedback to the prescriber where possible by microbiology laboratory
Use of information technology such as electronic prescribing with clinical decision support, on-line approval systems
Monitor antibiotic prescribing by measuring antibiotic consumption.