National Safety and Quality Health Service Standard 3: Preventing and controlling Healthcare-Associated Infection (second edition)

Sue Greig1

1 Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) Level 5, 255 Elizabeth Street Sydney, NSW, 2000.


The National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards (first edition) have been in effect since January 2013 as part of the healthcare accreditation scheme across Australia. In November 2017, the second edition of the NSQHS Standards will be launched for full implementation in January 2019. There will be significant changes in how these standards are presented and the content covered by the second edition of the NSQHS Standards.

NSQHS Standard 3 Preventing and Controlling Healthcare–Associated Infection (second edition) outlines governance and quality improvement, infection prevention and control systems, reprocessing of reusable medical devices and antimicrobial stewardship as its four key criteria. The content covered by the actions has been realigned to reduce duplication but maintain the focus on the important factors of a quality and safety program designed to identify, analyse, evaluate and respond to risks associated with infections, reprocessing of reusable medical devices and antimicrobial stewardship.

Utilising ongoing monitoring and review of the organisations performance and undertaking evaluation of evidence and performance to identify opportunities for improvement by ongoing collaboration, consultation and communication. Clearly identify the governance responsibilities for organisations and to outline the importance of engaging with consumers when providing healthcare services.

Since January 2013 more than 3000 accreditation assessments have been undertaken in health service organisations across Australia and most of these organisations that have been assessed have performed well in most areas of the NSQHS Standard generally and in NSQHS Standard 3 more specifically.

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