Infection prevention and control

Infection prevention and control practices are important to reduce the spread of infection. Standard precautions to prevent and control infection include:

  • hand hygiene 
  • the use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • equipment disinfection 
  • environmental cleaning 
  • vaccination.

You should advise patients about how to minimise the spread of any infection you diagnose.

Resources to help patients reduce the spread of infection include:

Hand hygiene

Hand Hygiene Australia provides best practice hand hygiene guidance. It has produced fact sheets on hand hygiene and how to prevent common healthcare-associated infections.

Infection prevention and control guidelines

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has standards in place to prevent and control infections.  These RACGP infection prevention and control standards include information on:

  • cleaning a practice 
  • standard precautions
  • transmission based precautions (contact, droplet and airborne) and relevant PPE
  • managing blood and bodily fluid spills 
  • linen and waste management 
  • cleaning and sterilising reusable medical devices and equipment
  • using single-use items.

Further information:

The Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare (2010). These guidelines describe the best ways to prevent and reduce infections occurring in healthcare settings including resistant infections. The Guidelines are being updated and are expected to be completed in late 2018.

Vaccination

Vaccination is an effective way to prevent infection, which reduce the need for antibiotics. You should encourage people to vaccinate against influenza and pneumococcal infection.  

The Australian Immunisation Handbook provides vaccine advice for health professionals.
 

Last updated: 
9 November 2017