Infection prevention and control in residential care facilities

Successful infection prevention and control in residential care facilities and other health care facilities involves implementing work practices that prevent the transmission of infectious agents and managing infections when they occur. This is achieved through a two tiered approach:

Standard precautions

Routinely applying basic infection prevention and control practices such as hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment, cleaning and disinfection of reusable equipment and the environment, and appropriate handling and disposal of sharps.

Transmission based precautions

Controlling infection by interrupting the mode of transmission, where standard precautions may not be sufficient. This includes adoption of contact, droplet and airborne transmission based precautions.

The Australian guidelines for the prevention and control of infection in healthcare (2019) (external link) provide recommendations using a risk management approach for implementation in different types of healthcare facilities, including residential care facilities.

Hand hygiene

The importance of correct hand hygiene in limiting the transmission of microorganisms in the healthcare setting is well documented. However, healthcare workers routinely perform hand hygiene less frequently than indicated.

Information on hand hygiene can be found at the WA Health site or visit Hand Hygiene Australia (external link).

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Public Health