Infection prevention and control guidelines

11. Disease surveillance and outbreak response

Monitoring for threats

      1. Monitoring for threats

Last revised: 17 Jun 2024

Monitoring for threats

General practices and other office- and community-based practices must have systems in place that allow for monitoring threats of outbreaks (eg varicella, measles, lyssavirus, Hendra virus), bioterrorism (eg anthrax) and emerging diseases such as COVID-19, avian influenza, and multidrug-resistant organisms.

To ensure the practice remains up to date with information, it is useful to nominate a staff member (eg a primary care nurse or other clinical staff member with the role of infection prevention and control coordinator) to take responsibility for receiving and acting on notifications from federal and state/territory health departments about emerging infectious diseases, as well as regularly checking the websites of relevant public health authorities (see Resources) for guidelines, and disseminating any updated information to other staff.

The person responsible for maintaining up-to-date information on infection prevention and control should be a full-time staff member and should hand over this role during absences. They must also maintain their knowledge and skills through continual professional development courses offered by the state or territory health department or other organisations.