Infection Control in The Australian Healthcare Setting

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Abstract

1,708 members of the Australian Infection Control Association were
surveyed to describe the practices of Australian infection control
practitioners. The study details the methods infection control practitioners
use to co-ordinate and measure nosocomial infections as clinical outcomes
of Australian infection surveillance and control programs. Administrators’
and clinicians’ perceptions of the elements and infrastructure of infection
surveillance and control programs and the role of the infection control were
measured in 316 hospitals in New South Wales, Australia.
A literature review found that the development of Australian infection
surveillance and control programs is behind that of U.S.A and the United
Kingdom.
The survey of the infection control practitioners identified that their role
and duties varied between facilities as did the time allocated to infection
control tasks.
The survey of infection control practitioners demonstrated variation in their
levels of skill, education and experience.
Infection control practitioners’ use and application of evidence and
associated skills was examined and found to be limited in relation to
clinical decision making and policy development.
The survey also examined the methods infection control practitioners use to
undertake surveillance of nosocomial infections. The methods reported
indicated non-standard approaches to surveillance activity.
A survey of administrators and clinicians in NSW hospitals was undertaken
to identify variation in administrator and clinician perceptions and to
describe their level of support for recommended essential infrastructure and
criteria for infection surveillance and control programs and the role of the
infection control practitioner in accordance with Scheckler's model. The
survey indicated divergent views regarding the role of the infection control
practitioner and the essential elements of infection surveillance and control
programs.
The study identified that education of infection control practitioners is
necessary to facilitate standard approaches to co-ordinating infection
surveillance and control activity. The development of Australian infection
surveillance and control programs require a strategic alliance between
stakeholders. to define essential elements of infection surveillance and
control programs. In addition, the role of the infection control practitioner
must be defined before key stakeholders can agree on the minimum skills,
qualifications and experience required by an infection control practitioner.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of New South Wales
Supervisors/Advisors
  • McLaws, Mary-Louise, Principal Supervisor, External person
Award date15 Dec 1999
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 1999

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