Revising the NHMRC Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare

Emma Breen

Assistant Director, Public Health, National Health and Medical Research Council, GPO Box 1421 Canberra 2601,


The 2010 Guidelines provide a basis for healthcare facilities to develop protocols and processes for infection prevention and control specific to local settings. The Guidelines have a risk management approach to preventing infection based around the following principles:

  • understanding risk management and modes of transmission of infectious agents
  • effective work practices
  • governance structures that support the implementation, monitoring and reporting of infection prevention and control work practices.

The Guidelines are aimed at all sectors of healthcare, and are a key resource for the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care’s (ACSQHC) National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (Standard 3): Preventing and Controlling Healthcare Associated Infections. As such, maintaining the currency and accuracy of the Guidelines is important. NHMRC is well known in the health sector for methodologies to revise guidelines and maintain their quality and integrity. NHMRC is committed to keeping its guidelines current and reflective of the latest evidence, and is working with ACSQHC to revise these Guidelines, which are nearing completion.

Last year, conference attendees were provided with the results of the evidence synthesis, as NHMRC prepared for public consultation. This presentation will focus on the use of GRADE as the evidence to decision framework, key issues raised during public consultation and expert review of the draft Guidelines, and the new interactive ‘app’ format.

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