Author Faculty (Discipline)


Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control Conference

Embargo Period



060502 Infectious Agents| 110309 Infectious Diseases| 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified| 111709 Health Care Administration

Reportable Items (HERDC/ERA)


Peer Review

Before publication


Introduction: In 2012 the Tasmanian Infection Prevention and Control Unit (TIPCU) implemented an Infection Control Assessment (ICA) program in rural hospitals and non-acute settings (RHANAS). The three main aims of the ICA program are:

  1. Build clinician capacity in RHANAS
  2. Have the ability to assess and manage infection control risks
  3. Foster local ownership of infection prevention and control by individual service providers and clinicians.

The project implementation and evaluation is ongoing.

Methods: The ICA consists of a range of location and process specific audits, designed specifically for RHANS. Each rural hospital in Tasmania participated in the ICA program during 2012. The program was undertaken collaboratively by a TIPCU CNC, regional infection prevention and control clinical nurse educator and either the DON of the hospital or a designated representative. The majority of the assessments were done on site at each rural hospital in conjunction with a short education program which was tailored on requests from each facility.

Results: Consistent themes emerged from the results of each rural hospital ICA. These included the following set of challenges relating to infection prevention and control:

  • No management plan including no regular or structured auditing program
  • No consistent orientation messages
  • Limited direction for site portfolio holders
  • Limited or no healthcare associated infection surveillance programs
  • No ongoing education for staff
  • Outdated policies and procedures

Conclusion: The TIPCU in conjunction with the regional Tasmanian Health Organisations (THO) are working collaboratively to address the challenges identified by the ICA program. The TIPCU have produced a template for an infection prevention and control management plan, a portfolio position description and tools for undertaking surveillance in RHANS. The additional challenges identified by the ICA are being addressed at the local THO level.


Used by permission: the authors