There are around 200,000 healthcare associated infections (HAIs) in Australian health facilities each year, making them the most common complication affecting patients in hospital.
They not only cause great suffering to patients, but also impact healthcare resources. It is estimated that HAIs account for two million hospital bed days in Australia each year.
A HAI is a potentially preventable adverse event, rather than an unpredictable complication in health. HAIs can occur in any healthcare setting, but it is possible to significantly reduce the rate by effective infection prevention and control.
Patients, visitors and staff - regardless of location or position - all play a role in the reduction of HAIs.
The HAI program aims to assist local health districts and speciality health networks to improve systems to manage and monitor the prevention and control of HAIs.
Key areas of focus for the HAI program are:
- Development and review of HAI clinical indicators
- State-wide support for the National Hand Hygiene Initiative
- State-wide support for the Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI) project
- Policy development
- Sterilization of Re-usable Medical Equipment
- Environmental Cleaning
Prevention of healthcare associated infections (HAIs) and the transmission of multi-resistant organisms (MROs) are key patient safety and clinical quality initiatives in the NSW health system.