Joanne Tropea, Jill J Francis, Noleen Bennett, Lyn‐li Lim, Deirdre Fetherstonhaugh, Kirsty L Buising, Caroline Marshall, Madelaine Flynn, Wen K Lim, Sanne Peters

Assessing infection prevention and control programs in residential aged care in Australia: A multi‐methods cross‐sectional study

  • General Medicine

AimTo assess infection prevention and control programs in residential aged care facilities.MethodsA cross‐sectional survey and structured interviews from 10 residential aged care facilities in Victoria, Australia, were used. Infection prevention and control nurse leads from each facility completed a purpose‐built survey based on best practice infection prevention control program core components, including staff training, policies and procedures, governance, and surveillance. Follow‐up interviews with residential aged care staff, residents and family visitors were carried out to elaborate and verify survey data.ResultsSurveys from all 10 facilities were received and 75 interviews carried out. All facilities had an infection prevention and control lead nurse who had undergone additional training, and 60% of facilities had an infection prevention and control lead position description. All facilities had a committee to oversee their infection prevention and control program, and all had policies and procedures for standard and transmission‐based precautions. One facility did not have a policy on healthcare‐associated infection surveillance, and two facilities did not have an antimicrobial stewardship policy. All facilities provided staff training in hand hygiene and personal protective equipment use, but not all routinely assessed competency in these.ConclusionsThe residential aged care facilities' infection prevention and control programs were generally in a strong position, although there were some areas that require improvement. Further assessment of the quality of infection prevention and control program components, such as content of education and training, and policies and procedures, and ongoing evaluation of programs is recommended. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2024; ••: ••–••.

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