Part A: Basics of Infection Prevention and Control

Summary

  • Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) can occur in any healthcare setting. While the specific risks may differ, the basic principles of infection prevention and control apply regardless of the setting.
  • In order to prevent HAIs, it is important to understand how infections occur in healthcare settings and then institute ways to prevent them. Risk management is integral to this approach.
  • If effectively implemented, the two-tiered approach of standard and transmission-based precautions recommended in these guidelines provides high-level protection to patients, healthcare workers and other people in healthcare settings.
  • Infection prevention and control is integral to clinical care and the way in which it is provided. It is not an additional set of practices.
  • Involving patients and their carers is essential to successful clinical care. This includes ensuring that patients’ rights are respected at all times, that patients and carers are involved in decision-making about care, and that they are sufficiently informed to be able to participate in reducing the risk of transmission of infectious agents.

The information presented in this part is relevant to everybody employed by a healthcare facility, including management, healthcare workers and support service staff.