The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


27 Jul 2021

MRFF grant to implement National Infection Surveillance Program for Aged Care

A surveillance program aimed at reducing the incidence of infectious diseases among aged-care residents and staff has received almost a million dollars from the Medical Research Future Fund.

Based at the Doherty Institute, the research team is made up of three leading multidisciplinary groups working to improve quality of care in the Australian aged-care sector; Victorian Healthcare Associated Infection Surveillance System (VICNISS), the National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship (NCAS) and the Registry of Senior Australians (ROSA).

The grant will enable the development and implementation of the National Infection Surveillance Program for Aged Care (NISPAC).

Lead investigator, Associate Professor Noleen Bennett, VICNISS and NCAS Infection Control Consultant said aged-care residents are especially vulnerable to acquiring infections, many of which are preventable and associated with poor outcomes.

“Urinary tract, respiratory and skin and soft tissue infections are the most common infections experienced by residents in aged-care. Up to one quarter of all hospitalisations from aged-care homes are for infectious diseases,” Associate Professor Bennett said.

“This program will address known barriers to effective infection prevention and control (IPC) practices, improve quality of care for consumers and surpass policy and accreditation standards at the facility-level.”

NISPAC will provide a dedicated and secure portal accessible by aged-care staff to enable participation in a national infection surveillance program that includes quality indicators, benchmark reporting and IPC support resources.

The project is aligned with the Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Mission’s aim to achieve measurable improvements in the quality of care for older Australians across all care settings.