Ambiguity - One of Our Greatest Infection Risks

Cathryn Murphy

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In the past decade the length, number and type and of infection prevention directives have expanded on an unprecedented scale and at an ever-increasing pace. Contemporary clinicians and infection preventionists working in Australia can easily and readily access guidance generated from governments, non-regulatory agencies, academic educational institutions and from their respective professional associations. These guiding instruments are generally either broad, overarching documents deemed suitable for a variety of clinical settings or detailed and limited to procedures and practices specific to a clinical speciality. Typically governments legislate specific critical infection prevention measures. They achieve this primarily through legislative acts of parliament or indirectly through licencing conditions that apply to individual registered health professionals or to health care organisations. Compliance with legislative requirements is non-negotiable and as a consequence they are written succinctly with no room for misinterpretation. Individuals or healthcare organisations whose practice deviates from the legislative requirement can be held liable in the event of harm being caused due to their non-compliance with the legislative requirement.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Australian Hospital Healthcare Bulletin
Issue numberAUTUMN
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Sept 2014
Externally publishedYes


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