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Infection prevention and control guidelines

11. Disease surveillance and outbreak response

Staff education

      1. Staff education

Last revised: 18 Aug 2023

Staff education

All staff members must receive education to minimise the risk of infection transmission when patients present with suspected or confirmed infectious diseases, including how to apply transmission-based precautions.

Reception staff must be able to identify patients with potentially transmissible clinically significant infections so they can implement appropriate infection prevention and control measures. To perform this role effectively, reception staff need to know which infections patients are more likely to present with and/or pose a greater risk, based on current epidemiology.

Protocols for managing potential transmission risk include telephone triage and risk assessment when making appointments and arranging videoconference consultations as appropriate (see Transmission-based precautions).

When reception staff identify a patient who has arrived at the practice with a potential transmissible infection, appropriate infection prevention and control measures depend on the route of transmission but might include isolating the patient, asking the patient to wear a mask, and explaining to the patient why infection prevention and control measures are being implemented (see Transmission-based precautions).

Staff could also be trained in how to use the infection prevention and control kit (see Infection prevention and control kit) to initiate appropriate measures promptly when a patient presents with a suspected or confirmed infectious disease.

All staff (including administrative staff and cleaners) must be trained to identify risks of potential cross-infection within the practice and manage them appropriately, including through:

The staff member with delegated responsibility for staff education on infection prevention and control must ensure that the induction program for new staff covers the practice’s infection prevention and control policy, as relevant to their role. They must also ensure that requirements are met for providing ongoing staff education and assessing staff competency.