Winter Planning Toolkit modules

Module 2: Preventative measures

Identifying risk and applying strategies

Last revised: 05 Jun 2023

Identifying risk and applying strategies

You can minimise infection transmission by considering the risks and adopting various infection control strategies. These may include:

  • performing risk assessments to anticipate and communicate the need for transmission-based precautions
  • effective triage and appointment scheduling, including using telehealth consultations to triage patients (please see ‘Telehealth’ below)
  • promoting and facilitating hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette
  • allocating dedicated space and bathroom facilities for persons with suspected or confirmed infection
  • using decontaminated equipment for patients
  • determining and applying appropriate transmission-based precautions in addition to standard precautions (i.e. type of PPE, including particulate filter respirators, surgical masks, gowns, protective eyewear and gloves) and ensuring that training the correct use of all relevant PPE is carried out
  • implementing distancing techniques, such as allocating dedicated spaces for certain patient cohorts and organising patient and staff flow throughout the practice (in line with relevant health authority guidance)
  • considering conducting home visits for patients with an infectious illness, to avoid them having contact with other patients within the practice
  • aiming for ventilation that delivers 6-8 fresh air changes per hour and using High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters
  • using effective cleaning methods and products
  • communicating the risk status of potentially infectious patient to others involved in the patient’s care so that safeguards can be taken.


Utilising telehealth consultations where appropriate can be an effective strategy to help keep you, your practice staff and patients safe and comfortable during the winter months. The RACGP has developed the following resources to assist your team in implementing effective telehealth consultations and triage protocols:

Referring patients with respiratory symptoms to GP-led respiratory clinics

Federally funded GP-led respiratory clinics are being phased out, to be replaced with a GP-led Respiratory Clinic Panel. This panel will consist of up to 150 primary care practices. The practices will be activated as needed in response to the emergence of another COVID-19 wave, or other major heath respiratory emergency. Check your local primary health network for further information.


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