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Endorsement of guidelines
The college endorses the following infection guideline documents which have been developed and evidenced by reputable national academic bodies:
National Health and Medical Research Council – Australian Guideline for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare.
Note: college endorsement of this document is qualified because the college does not support the concept that healthcare workers be subject to regular mandatory testing for blood-borne viruses (BBV) (see below). However the college strongly advises that any surgeon who has reason to believe that he or she may have been exposed to a BBV either occupationally or socially should seek testing and adhere to the recommendations of the NHMRC.
Available at http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines/publications/cd33
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners’ (RACGP) - Infection Control Standards for Office Based Practices.
This publication provides detailed guidelines regarding cleaning of the practice environment and sterilisation of equipment. Surgeons undertaking office based procedures should be familiar with these guidelines. Many surgeons undertake minor procedures in their rooms and it is vital that the general principles of infection control are complied with in all instances. It is recommended that each practice should have a manual outlining protocols regarding infection control.
Available at http://www.racgp.org.au/your-practice/standards/infectioncontrol/
Available at https://tgldcdp.tg.org.au/etgcomplete?sectionid=41
The college encourages fellows to both participate in the development of policies and protocols appropriate to their local practice, and to comply with guidelines in the prescription of antibiotics both for prophylaxis and therapy. The evolution of antimicrobial management of disease requires data collection and management at regional, national and international levels. The dynamic nature of infectious disease management necessitates an active approach embracing the following principles of antibiotic stewardship:
- The collection of data identifying local and regional nature of, rates of and patterns of infectious disease
- Comparison of this data to other regions and relating to national trends
- Using this data to formulate advice regarding emerging patterns of antibiotic resistance and alternate antibiotic utilisation
- Supporting local and regional data collection and the use of derived data to adjust antibiotic management
The college supports surveillance of hospital acquired infections. Surveillance has been proven to reduce infection rates when local data collection results in timely feedback. The college supports publication of infection rates in a de-identified manner and recognises that comparing data between hospitals can have a positive effect, but it does not support publication of infection rates of individual hospitals or surgeons. In the surgical context surveillance should cover surgical site infections of selected procedures, bloodstream infections, hand hygiene and antimicrobial usage. The college supports the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) Paper on this topic:
Available at http://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/media_releases/reducing-harm-to-patients-from-healthcare-associated-infections/
Hand hygiene in health-care workers is an effective intervention to reduce the risk of HAI. The college endorses the National Hand Hygiene initiative and in particular supports the World Health Organisation Moments’ program and the use of alcohol based hand rubs. The college recommends all surgeons and trainees play a leadership role in advocating hand hygiene practices.