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
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:
- The flu and you
- Staying healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services is a best practice guide that provides simple and effective ways for educators and other staff to help limit the spread of illness and infectious diseases in education and care settings.
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.
The Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare (2019). These guidelines describe the best ways to prevent and reduce infections occurring in healthcare settings including resistant infections.
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. More information about vaccination is available on the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care website.