The guidelines were developed to establish a nationally accepted approach to infection prevention and control, focusing on core principles and priority areas for action. They provide a basis for healthcare workers and healthcare facilities to develop detailed protocols and processes for infection prevention and control specific to local settings.
This approach is underpinned by a risk-management framework to ensure the basic principles of infection prevention and control can be applied to a wide range of healthcare settings including office-based practice, long-term care facilities, remote area health services, home and community nursing and emergency services.
The evidence base for the guidelines addresses the highest level of risk of infection transmission in the healthcare setting, and has predominantly been drawn from the acute-care setting. However, case studies giving examples of risk assessments have been included to help illustrate how these recommendations can be applied to other settings.
Supporting documents have been developed for healthcare workers, patients and health facility managers to assist with implementation of the guidelines. These materials will be available on the NHMRC website.
The guidelines make reference to but do not include detailed information on:
• infectious diseases
• pandemic planning
• the reprocessing of reusable medical instruments or devices
• occupational health and safety
• hospital hotel services such as food services, laundry services or waste disposal
• engineering/health facility design.