What are the control measures to minimize the risks of infection to patients?

Evidence-based systems are used to mitigate the risk of infection. These systems account for individual risk factors for infection, as well as the risks associated with the clinical intervention and the clinical setting in which care is provided. A precautionary approach is warranted when evidence is emerging or rapidly evolving.

Patients, consumers and members of the workforce with suspected or confirmed infection are identified promptly, and appropriate action is taken. This includes persons with risk factors for transmitting or acquiring infection or colonisation with an organism of local, national or global significance.

The health service organisation is clean and hygienic and has well-maintained and configured engineering systems for the delivery of effective models of care.



  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Email

In this section


  • National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards
    • Implementation of the NSQHS Standards
    • Assessment to the NSQHS Standards
    • Resources for the NSQHS Standards
    • Safety and Quality Advice Centre
    • NSQHS Standards submissions, requests and extensions
    • Multi-Purpose Services Aged Care Module
    • Sustainable Healthcare Module
    • NSQHS Standards assessment outcomes
    • Clinical Governance Standard
    • Partnering with Consumers Standard
    • Preventing and Controlling Infections Standard
      • Clinical governance and quality improvement systems are in place to prevent and control infections, and support antimicrobial stewardship and sustainable use of infection prevention and control resources
      • Infection prevention and control systems
        • Action 3.06
        • Action 3.07
        • Action 3.08
        • Action 3.09
        • Action 3.10
        • Action 3.11
        • Action 3.12
        • Action 3.13
        • Action 3.14
        • Action 3.15
        • Action 3.16
      • Reprocessing of reusable equipment and devices
      • Antimicrobial stewardship
    • Medication Safety Standard
    • Comprehensive Care Standard
    • Communicating for Safety Standard
    • Blood Management Standard
    • Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration Standard
  • National Safety and Quality Primary and Community Healthcare Standards
  • Clinical Care Standards
  • National Safety and Quality Digital Mental Health Standards
  • Clinical Trials Services
  • Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme Standards
  • Pathology Accreditation Standards
  • Aged Care Quality Standards – Clinical Care

Infection control is a health and safety issue. All people working in the health service organisation are responsible for providing a safe environment for consumers and the workforce. Infection prevention and control programs should be in place, in conjunction with use of the hierarchy of controls, to reduce transmission of infections so far as is reasonably practicable.

Infectious agents transmitted during provision of health care come primarily from human sources, including patients, members of the health workforce and visitors. Successful infection prevention and control measures involve implementing work practices that prevent the transmission of infectious agents using a two-tiered approach: standard precautions and transmission-based precautions.

Standard precautions are basic infection prevention and control strategies that apply to everyone, regardless of their perceived or confirmed infectious status. Strategies include hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and appropriate handling and disposal of sharps. These are a first-line approach to infection prevention and control in health service organisations and are routinely applied as an essential strategy for minimising the spread of infections. Standard precautions minimise the risk of transmission of infectious agents from one person or place to another, even in high-risk situations, and render and maintain objects and areas as free as possible from infectious agents.

Transmission-based precautions are specific interventions to interrupt the mode of transmission of infectious agents. They are used to control infection risk with patients who are suspected or confirmed to be infected with agents transmitted by contact, droplet or airborne routes. Transmission-based precautions are recommended as extra work practices in situations when standard precautions alone may be insufficient to prevent transmission. Transmission-based precautions are also used during outbreaks to help contain the outbreak and prevent further infection. Transmission-based precautions should be tailored to the infectious agent involved and its mode of transmission – this may involve a combination of practices.

Hand hygiene is an essential infection prevention and control strategy. The current National Hand Hygiene Initiative promotes a multimodal approach to improving hand hygiene. That includes:

  • The use alcohol-based hand rub at the point-of-care
  • Ensuring uniform hand hygiene and infection prevention and control education
  • Monitoring hand hygiene compliance and performance feedback
  • Using hand hygiene programs that ensure culture change.

Aseptic technique, use of invasive medical devices, workforce immunisation and screening for vaccine-preventable diseases, and environmental cleaning are also important elements of infection prevention and control systems. Health service organisation management is responsible for overseeing the systems and processes to maintain a clean, hygienic environment, including maintenance and upgrading of buildings and equipment; environmental cleaning of the buildings and infrastructure; evaluation of the infection risks for new products or equipment; and linen handling and management.

For further information on implementing systems for standard and transmission-based precautions, refer to the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare.

What are the measures to minimize the risk of infection?

Good hygiene: the primary way to prevent infections.
Wash your hands well. ... .
Cover a cough. ... .
Wash and bandage all cuts. ... .
Do not pick at healing wounds or blemishes, or squeeze pimples..
Don't share dishes, glasses, or eating utensils..
Avoid direct contact with napkins, tissues, handkerchiefs, or similar items used by others..

What is the important measure to prevent the spread of infections among patients?

Hand hygiene should be performed before and after contact with a client, immediately after touching blood, body fluids, non-intact skin, mucous membranes, or contaminated items (even when gloves are worn during contact), immediately after removing gloves, when moving from contaminated body sites to clean body sites ...