Date: 29 September 2011
Title: Infection rates in residential aged care facilities, Grampians region, Victoria, Australia

Mary Smith (A D) , Ann L. Bull (B) , Michael Richards(B ) , Pauline Woodburn (C) and Noleen J. Bennett (B)

(A) Department of Health, Grampians Region, 21 McLachlan Street, Horsham, Victoria, 3400 Vic., Australia.
(B) Victorian Healthcare Associated Infection Surveillance System (VICNISS) Co-ordinating Centre, 10 Wreckyn St, North Melbourne, 3051, Vic., Australia.
(C) Bendigo Health, 62 Lucan St, Bendigo, 3550 Vic., Australia.
(D) Corresponding author. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Healthcare Infection 16(3) 116-120
Submitted: 14 June 2011  Accepted: 12 August 2011   Published: 26 September 2011



In 2010, 30 eligible residential aged care facilities (RACFs) in the Grampians region, Victoria, participated in a 6-month pilot healthcare-associated infection (HAI) surveillance program. The aims of the pilot program were to establish if there was a need for a program, and if yes, to determine if the program, as currently structured, was plausible. Data was continuously collected for five surveillance modules – ‘bronchitis and tracheo-bronchitis’, ‘cellulitis’, ‘conjunctivitis’, ‘gastroenteritis’ and ‘symptomatic urinary tract infections’. The overall confirmed and total (confirmed and excluded) infection rates were 2.2 and 3.6 infections per 1000 resident days, respectively.

Infections reported by clinical staff employed at the RACFs had to be either confirmed or excluded by an infection control consultant. The main reason infections could not be confirmed was because supporting documentation was incomplete.

Although the infection rates were lower or equivalent to those reported elsewhere, it was recommended that the implementation of an HAI surveillance program in the Grampians RACFs be considered. Some program elements, such as the supporting documentation and infection definitions, would need to be reviewed.

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