Victorian Healthcare Associated Infection Surveillance System (VICNISS) Coordinating Centre and National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship (NCAS), National Infection Surveillance Program for Aged Care (NISPAC)
The National Infection Surveillance Program for Aged Care (NISPAC): A Collaborative Systems Approach to Developing a Streamlined, User-focused Portal
Thursday 13 October 2022
2:15pm – 3:30pm
Associate Professor Noleen Bennett is an Infection Control Consultant currently employed at the Victorian Healthcare Associated Infection Surveillance System (VICNISS) Coordinating Centre and National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship (NCAS), both located at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. She is also the Chief Investigator for the National Infection Surveillance Program for Aged Care research project. This project is aiming to develop a dedicated and secure website that is freely accessible for all Australian residential aged care facilities and enables participation in a national infection and antimicrobial use surveillance program.
Those living in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) are especially vulnerable to acquiring serious, preventable infections. Monitoring infections and antimicrobial use are vital parts of RACF infection prevention and control (IPC) activities. Effective and efficient surveillance programs protect residents, staff and visitors by quickly identifying problems, their magnitude and how they can be addressed. In Australia, there is currently no nationally coordinated surveillance program.
Our project aims to develop, implement and evaluate a National Infection Surveillance Program for Aged Care (NISPAC) which will streamline and standardise surveillance activities. NISPAC will be a dedicated and secure, one-stop portal for reporting, analysis and validation of infection and antimicrobial use data. The program will be developed with a focus on user needs and experience.
Three peak bodies – the Victorian Healthcare Associated Infection Surveillance System (VICNISS) Coordinating Centre, the National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship (NCAS) and the Registry for Senior Australians (ROSA) – have collaborated to oversee the project. The project will take place over three stages: 1. investigation, 2. development and 3. implementation; and will employ co-design methodologies to ensure users are engaged across each stage.
The investigation stage will investigate existing surveillance programs, including the VICNISS Infection Indicator Program and the Aged Care National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey, through qualitative interviews with VICNISS and NCAS surveillance staff, a survey of RACF staff, document analysis, and a review of the literature. The development stage will use results from these Stage 1 methods, along with expert consultation, focus groups and user testing with RACF staff to develop NISPAC. Finally, in stage 3 the program will be implemented and evaluated in a representative sample of RACFs across Australia.
Preliminary results from the investigation stage have highlighted the importance of a stable, easy to use system that is tailored to user experience, expert advice and support for RACF staff conducting surveillance, and RACF staff education.
The comprehensive methodologies employed for development, implementation and evaluation of NISPAC will ensure the data handling system is robust, streamlined and improves reporting
Development, implementation and evaluation of a National Infection Surveillance Program for Aged Care