Infection prevention and control guidelines

11. Disease surveillance and outbreak response

Patient-specific precautions

      1. Patient-specific precautions

Last revised: 17 Jun 2024

Patient-specific precautions

It is important that staff respond rapidly and with the appropriate precautions when confronted by a patient with a suspected or confirmed infectious disease that could be transmitted (eg by air or contact) during the healthcare visit. These precautions include providing a mask to those with respiratory symptoms and requiring them to wear it, isolation in a designated separate room, physical distancing in waiting areas, minimising the time that patients remain in the same room (for example, by asking them to remain outside or in their car until called), respiratory hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette, disposal of used tissues, hand hygiene with alcohol-based handrub, and informing other patients as necessary (see Transmission-based precautions).

All patients who enter the practice should be required to practise respiratory hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette: covering the mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, using tissues to blow the nose, disposing of tissues immediately after use into a lined waste bin provided, and cleaning hands using an alcohol-based handrub on arrival and after touching their nose. Posters promoting respiratory hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette, prominently displayed in patient and staff areas, might help remind patients and staff.