Australia’s states and territories Infection Prevention and Control programs – a comparison study


  • Kathy Dempsey NSW Chief Infection Prevention and Control Practitioner and Healthcare Associated Infection Advisor, Clinical Excellence Commission, University of NSW, Sydney, Australia
  • Susan Jain Principal Advisor and Research Lead Infection Prevention and Control and Healthcare Associated Infection, Sydney, Australia
  • Patricia Bradd Director Patient Safety, Sydney, Australia
  • Kate Clezy Medical Advisor Infection Prevention and Control and Healthcare Associated Infection, Sydney, Australia
  • David Greenfield Professor of Health Leadership, School of Population Health, UNSW Medicine, Sydney, Australia



Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), Healthcare associated infection (HAI), Infection Control Practitioner (ICP), Clinicians – Health workers including physicians involved in delivery and support of patient care


Background: Infection prevention and control (IPC) remains a critical component of delivering quality and safe care. However, clinician understanding of and engagement with IPC remain inconsistent (13). In addition, IPC governance, structure and organisation impact on clinician engagement are not well described. Available publications are limited to healthcare-associated infection (HAI) surveillance and do not reflect the broader IPC program (46). As Australia establishes a national coordinating body similar to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a comparison of jurisdictional IPC provides essential contemporary information to inform the national body.

Method: This study examined the characteristics of jurisdictional (states and territories) IPC programs in Australia and was conducted in two phases. Phase one examined outward facing websites likely to be accessed by clinicians, and phase two surveyed jurisdictional programs using a qualitative questionnaire.

Results: Whilst each jurisdiction had accessible website content, this varied considerably in terms of governance, structure, content, ease of navigation, accessibility and visibility. There was a lack of national focus within jurisdictional programs and websites. Four of eight jurisdictions did not have a formal statewide IPC program at the time of the survey. Variance was reported in governance, structures, focus and program elements.

Conclusion: Inconsistent IPC governance and structure demonstrates poorly aligned Australian IPC programs that may contribute to poor clinician understanding and engagement with IPC. Implementing a coordinated and consistent approach to governance, website design and layout would facilitate a consolidated approach to IPC nationally, which may facilitate clinician understanding and engagement. Shaping IPC nationally would also provide solid IPC foundations to support an Australian CDC.


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How to Cite

Dempsey, K., Jain, S., Bradd, P., Clezy, K., & Greenfield, D. (2024). Australia’s states and territories Infection Prevention and Control programs – a comparison study. International Journal of Infection Control, 20.



Original Articles