Topic: COVID-19: Elevating The Importance Of Infection Control Programs

Day: Monday 12 October 2020

Time: 2:10pm-2:30pm AESDT

Abstract:

Every aged care facility in Australia should have an infection prevention and control (IPC) program of some kind in place. While those programs may meet the legislative requirements and standards, do they represent a good faith effort attempt to eliminate and control infections? The arrival of COVID-19 has placed a significant burden on many residential aged care facilities.  Every aged care facility in Australia should have an infection prevention and control (IPC) program of some kind in place. While those programs may meet the legislative requirements and standards, do they represent a good faith effort attempt to eliminate and control infections? The arrival of COVID-19 has placed a significant burden on many residential aged care facilities.  This presentation will address the following:- Does the narrative of ‘reducing’ infections rather than eliminating them come from a culture of IPC permissiveness?- Facilities typically run multiple risk management programs to reduce the incidence of certain events, like falls or pressure injuries.

Whilst many of these programs may have a focus on ‘zero falls’ or ‘zero pressure injuries’, do we consciously aim for zero infections? – COVID-19 has been a rude awakening for many facilities and has raised several questions regarding how we manage infection control and how prepared we are. Nobody anticipated the magnitude of the storm that COVID-19 brought. However, we need to be mindful that the fundamentals of IPC have not changed significantly in recent times. Standard precautions as they read should be just that — standard. They should be entrenched in practice and incorporated into every process in the workplace. There should be no excuses for facilities to not have robust hand hygiene education and practices — current processes may need shaking up.- COVID-19 is and has shown us all that we may need a new way forward. What happens when the storm passes over?Bug Control have assisted many facilities currently experiencing challenges with COVID-19. Christine Rolfe is currently a senior consultant with Bug Control and worked as an Infection Control Coordinator during the 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic. Christine would like to share her reflections on experience and observations, having now experienced two major pandemics.This presentation will cover current problems in IPC in aged care facilities, what needs to change, and what we might need to aim for in a post–COVID-19 clinical future.

Biography:

Christine Rolfe has a nursing career that has spanned over 42 years. After working in aged care for over 15 years, she made the change to sub-acute care, where she has worked in various roles, including both specialised clinical areas and management. These roles also included infection control coordination, which Christine is very passionate about. Christine has been actively involved in promoting the importance of infection control since 2009.

She holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Nursing), and postgraduate certificates in Advanced Clinical Practice, which includes infection control, and in Health Service Management.

Now working as a Senior Consultant for Bug Control, Christine consults regularly with facility managers across Australia and New Zealand, helping with their infection prevention and control concerns. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and grandchildren. Christine also enjoys travelling and cannot wait to continue her journeys once COVID-19 stops ruining everyone’s plans.