Title

Organisation and Governance of Infection Prevention and Control in Australian Residential Aged Care Facilities: A National Survey

Author Faculty (Discipline)

Nursing

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2019

JOURNAL

Infection Disease and Health

VOLUME NUMBER

24

ISSUE NUMBER

4

PAGE NUMBERS

187-193

ISSN

2468-0451

ANZSRC / FoR Code

111001 Aged Care Nursing| 111002 Clinical Nursing: Primary (Preventative)| 111003 Clinical Nursing: Secondary (Acute Care)| 111706 Epidemiology

Avondale Research Centre

Lifestyle and Health Research Centre

Reportable Items

C1

Abstract

Background

Individuals in residential and aged care facilities (RACFs) are at risk of developing health care-associated infections (HAIs) due to factors such as age-related changes in physiology, immunity, comorbid illness and functional disability. The recent establishment of an Australian Royal Commission into the Quality of Residential and Aged Care Services highlights the challenges of providing care in this sector. This national study identified infection prevention and control (IPC) services, practice and priorities in Australian RACFs.

Methods

A cross-sectional study of 158 Australian RACFs comprising a 42-question survey incorporating five key domains relating to IPC namely governance, education, practice, surveillance, competency and capability was undertaken in 2018.

Results

Of the 131 respondents, the majority 92.4% of respondents reported having a documented IPC program, 22.9% (n = 30) operated with a dedicated infection control committee The majority of RACFs reported lacking specialist and qualified experienced IPC professionals (n = 67). The majority of RACFs (90.1%, n = 118) reported the existence of a designated employee with IPC responsibilities. Of these 118 staff members with IPC responsibilities, 42.5% had a qualification in IPC. The reported average funded hours per month for IPC professional or an external provider of IPC activities was 14 (95% CI 9.6–18.9 h).

Conclusion

The overwhelming majority of RACFs deliver IPC services and report doing so in ways that meet the needs of their own specific contexts in the absence of the lack of formal guidelines when compared to the hospital sector. Quality residential and aged care free from HAIs requires formal structure and organization strategies.

Field of Education

06 Health

Staff Classification

Permanent

Peer Review

Before publication

Comments

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\© 2019 Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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