Empowering consumers to prevent healthcare associated infections: is it more than just information and involvement

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As healthcare providers it is often difficult for us to view or understand clinical issues from the perspectives of healthcare consumers or their family or friends. However, the recently released National Safety and Quality in Health Care Standards and in particular Standard 3 Preventing and Controlling Healthcare Associated Infections, mandate the provision of information to and involvement of consumers in infection prevention processes and decisions.1 To provide appropriate infection prevention information and capitalise on consumer involvement we first need to better understand our consumers. What do they expect of an organisation in terms of infection prevention? How well do they understand the risks and consequences of healthcare associated infections (HAIs)? How skilled are they to recognise an infection prevention breach and how empowered and willing are they to question a non-compliant healthcare worker? In this brief article the authors address these questions and recommend a series of actions that your organisation may wish to consider in order to recruit the healthcare consumer as a valuable contributor to your infection prevention efforts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Australian Hospital Healthcare Bulletin
Issue numberSPRING
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


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