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Aust Health Rev. 2018 Aug 21. doi: 10.1071/AH18052. [Epub ahead of print]

Infection prevention quality indicators in aged care: ready for a national approach.


Accreditation standards for Australian aged care homes include the requirement for programs to ensure infections are controlled. Effective infection prevention programs are supported by surveillance data providing the impetus for quality improvement and facilitating evaluation of interventions at the facility level. In 2016, infection control professionals employed in Victorian public-sector residential aged care services were surveyed to examine the nature and resourcing of local infection prevention programs and monitoring activities. Overall, 164 services participated (90% response rate). A high proportion (84%) reported executive support for infection surveillance, with mean allocation of 12 h per fortnight per facility for infection prevention activities. Current surveillance activities included monitoring of infections and antimicrobial use (90%), influenza vaccination compliance for staff (96%) and residents (76%) and monitoring of infection due to significant organisms (84%). A successful statewide program including eight quality indicators has subsequently been implemented in Victoria. We suggest that a national focus could strengthen this framework, ensuring a uniform strategy with enhanced benchmarking capacity. Stakeholder engagement and refinement of appropriate indicators for monitoring quality improvement in public, not-for-profit and private sectors within aged care is required.


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