The recent article published in the MJA by Agostino and colleagues from the Hunter New England area provided data that could be described as not so startling, but nevertheless alarming. Their study aimed to identify groups at risk of MRSA infection, as well as the proportion of patients with MRSA but no history of recent hospitalisation (previous 12 months).
In their large cohort, they found that “young people, Indigenous Australians, and residents of aged care facilities, are disproportionally affected by CA-MRSA infections”.
Two comments in their Discussion caught my eye. The authors call for:
- the focus of control measures to move from the healthcare setting to the community
- national surveillance of MRSA
The results of this study are not so startling because the findings are consistent with previous studies, alarming because this is another piece of evidence highlighting the deficits of our local knowledge.
This brings me to my next point. I am excited to be part of a team conducting a large study exploring infection prevention in Australian residential and aged care facilities. Led by Prof Brett Mitchell, together with Prof Ramon Shaban and Dr Deborough MacBeth, we aim to mimic a recent program of work that generated so much rich information about infection prevention in our hospital facilities. Here are links to a sample of some of papers from this work:
- Hall et al – Role and Responsibilities of ICPs
- Mitchell et al. – IC staffing levels and costs
- Mitchell et al. – Time spent by ICPs doing surveillance
- Halton et al – Clinical governance and IC
- MacBeth – Credentialling and IC
- Mitchell et al – IC accreditation and credentialling
This cross sectional study aims to explore governance, education, practice, surveillance and competency and capability – five key domains relating to infection prevention and control. All aged care homes in Australia are in the process of being contacted.
The findings of this study will be significant, they will:
- further support ACIPC to refine the role and scope of practice of ICPs and better target education strategies,
- inform decision-makers faced with accessing and planning infection control resources in settings outside hospitals.
- guide future research priorities in this area
- understand priorities and gaps in infection control services
If you receive an invitation to participate, I strongly encourage you to do so.
We look forward to sharing our findings with you during 2018.