Bridging the gap – implementation of government policy & implications for Infection Control Professionals

Havers SM1, Martin E1, Wilson A2, Hall L3

1Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, QUT, Kelvin Grove QLD, Australia
2Menzies Centre for Health Policy, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW, Australia
3School of Public Health, University of Queensland, Herston, QLD, Australia


Infection prevention and control professionals play an important role in the implementation of government directed policies that aim to prevent the transmission of healthcare associated infection and more recently antimicrobial resistance. Little research has been done to investigate the implementation of these policies; specifically what factors affect implementation processes in the hospital setting or what should be considered by decision makers tasked with the development or implementation of these important policies.

In this research project we aimed to investigate the factors which influence the implementation of government directed policy in hospitals using an interpretive descriptive research approach. This enabled in-depth examination of the influence of context, policy characteristics and health system factors in three separate studies. Data was collected through focus groups, qualitative systematic review and a modified Delphi survey.

Factors of importance were identified across all levels of the health care system and the implementation process. A synthesis of the research findings identified six underlying principles of significance for government directed policy implementation.

Effective and resourceful implementation of government directed policy remains a significant challenge for Infection Prevention and Control professionals. Consideration of these research findings from an Infection Prevention perceptive may provide guidance to those tasked with both the development of government directed HAI policy and the implementation of these policies, enabling more effective implementation, and ultimately maximising the impact of these policies on clinical practice and patient outcomes.

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