Title

Resourcing Hospital Infection Prevention and Control Units in Australia: A Discussion Paper

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2017

Publication Details

This article was originally published as:

Mitchell, B. G., MacBeth, D., Halton, K., Gardner, A., & Hall, L. (2017). Resourcing hospital infection prevention and control units in Australia: A discussion paper. Infection, Disease and Health, 22(2), 83-88. doi:10.1016/j.idh.2017.02.001

ISSN: 2468-0451

ANZSRC / FoR Code

111004 Clinical Nursing: Tertiary (Rehabilitative)| 111716 Preventive Medicine

Reportable Items

C1

Abstract

Background

Infection control professionals (ICPs) are critical in maintaining high standards of quality patient care. Until recently, little was known about the scope of practice, structures, resources and priorities for ICPs and infection control units more generally. Over the past three years we have undertaken a program of work to explore these issues. The purpose of this discussion paper is to synthesise these results and outline implications for the Australian infection control community.

Methods

We undertook a survey of individual ICPs in Australian and New Zealand and a survey of hospital infection control units within Australia. To understand how our research program could be used to inform and be of value, we also convened a stakeholder workshop to discuss how data from our studies could be translated into meaningfully constructed findings. A synthesis of the findings from the two surveys and the workshop was undertaken and this formed the basis of this discussion paper.

Results

We were able for the first time, to comprehensively report on infection control staffing levels, priorities and barriers within Australia. We identified considerable variability in the scope, experience and expertise of ICPs and the potential value that credentialing has with respect to effective infection control programs. We were however, unable to develop recommendations with respect to staffing.

Conclusion

The findings of our work may be used in designing and justifying business cases for infection prevention and control resources. There is also a need to undertake a similar study in settings other than hospitals

Comments

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© 2017 Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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