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December 2017

e-Bulletin Newsletter



Reminders - Data:

Quarter Data Due Available
Quarter 2 2017/18 Fri 2nd February 2018 Fri 16th March 2018
Hand Hygiene Fri 30thMarch 2018
Influenza TBA TBA

Christmas Greetings


It’s that time of year again… merry Christmas from all the VICNISS staff. Relax and enjoy the holidays with family and friends. Here’s wishing you all a safe and happy New Year!

For those of you working over the Christmas period, fingers crossed it’s a quiet time.


Follow us on@VICNISS_CC for twitter updates

VICNISS Demographic Update for 2018

As another year is almost over, it’s a time for us to update our demographic database. If you have had a change of CEO or infection control staff; please forward their names and contact details to Chris. Many thanks!

Small Hospital Surveillance Update

Just a reminder that the required point prevalence survey for 2017-2018 is the HCW Measles Immunity Module. You are required to nominate one month in the year to submit the data.

The HCW Hepatitis B Immunity module is NOT required to be completed this year. However, should you want to compare the rate of your hospital’s HCWs’ immunity to hepatitis B over the 2 years, you can collect and submit the data again.

Note: Any changes to your surveillance plan must be made through ‘Make Changes’ via the Manage Annual Surveillance Plan panel in the User Portal.

Update to Cleaning Standards in Victoria

Just a reminder that in June 2017 DHHS released the document 'Auditing environmental cleanliness' which provides an update on the auditing and reporting of cleaning standards in Victorian Health Facilities. The main points highlighted include:

  1. Environmental cleanliness will be measured through accreditation to the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards and patient-reported cleanliness through the Victorian healthcare experience survey.
  2. The cleaning standards key performance indicator will be discontinued as a performance measure for Victorian health facilities.
  3. Health facilities may adopt alternative auditing methods, in addition to, or in the place of visual inspections.
  4. Health facilities will no longer be required to report cleaning audit results to the Department of Health and Human Services.
  5. Health facilities will be able to utilise internal or external auditors, for auditing of environmental cleanliness.

For more information see: /p>

National Hand Hygiene Initiative Update

Change to Department Selection Methodology

To standardise data collection across all hospitals Hand Hygiene Australia (HHA) in association with the NHHI Advisory Committee have changed their department selection methodology. There is now one single option recommending all eligible departments be audited a minimum of once per year (ideally each National Audit Period) and at least 100-200 moments be collected per high risk area each year. Please click here to see the updated recommendations.

Please note that this is a recommendation, and that HHA ask organisations to start transitioning towards using this option from Audit 1 2018.

Gold Standard Auditor Training in 2018

  • 6th & 7th February, Benalla Health
  • 21st & 22nd February, Alfred Hospital

If you would like to attend either of these workshops please go to:, and select the workshop you would like to attend from the drop down list at question 7. If you would like to attend a workshop but these dates or venue are not suitable for you please select VIC – Workshop Waitlist from the dropdown list and you will be notified when the next workshop is scheduled.

General Auditor Training

When training General Auditors locally don’t forget it is mandatory for participants to complete the preworkshop quiz prior to commencing training. It is also the responsibility of the GSA performing the training to register successful participants on the HHA Auditor Register as soon as possible after completion of the course.

Troubleshooting HHA Learning Management System Issues

Forgotten your Login ID - You can now login using either your Login ID or Email address Incorrect or no email address in profile – Update by logging in, go to personal profile (drop down arrow next to your name in top right hand corner), Personal Profile, Modify, Apply Not registered to your correct (or any organisation) - Update by logging in, go to Change my Organisation under the shortcuts menu (under the calendar on the home page) and select the correct Organisation.

Hand Hygiene Compliance Application Update

Organisation Administrators can now designate a Primary Contact for their Organisation by logging in, selecting their Organisation, clicking on Users in the right hand side vertical menu, clicking on Edit List, clicking on the blue star beside the name of the Primary contact and clicking Save.

Aged Care Surveillance

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza recently met with VICNISS to discuss three specific studies in 2018 to address in aged care homes:

  1. the optimal timing of influenza vaccination of the elderly;
  2. the benefit of vaccinating staff to protect residents of aged care homes; and
  3. the use of bedside diagnostic tests to enable faster implementation of infection control measures in the event of an outbreak.

In light of this year’s concerning influenza season, these voluntary studies may be of interest to your health service, as they are to us. We will further update Infection Control practitioners next year.

Health Services Performance Monitoring Framework 2017/18

An important change to the Victorian Health Services Performance Monitoring Framework 2017/18 is the reduction the performance target for healthcare associated SAB rate which is now < 1.0 per 10,000 OBDs. Click on the link below for information:

Having trouble using VICNISS Web forms?

If you are find that the VICNISS web forms are not displaying correctly please check the internet browser you are using is Internet Explorer version 9.0 or later. If your version is lower than 9.0 you will need to liaise with your IT department to update to version 9.0 or above, or install another browser such as Google Chrome, or Firefox.

If you have any ongoing issues please contact VICNISS Coordinating Centre to discuss.

Infection Control Literature Review – October 2017

Evaluating electronic healthcare-associated infection surveillance software

Applying standardised methods for surveillance of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) is essential for successful prevention programs. Surveillance practices often require integration of a range of patient- and laboratory-level primary data sets held within healthcare facilities, and staff responsible for surveillance may need to manually collate data. In attempt to reduce data handling, improve efficiency and increase the validity of surveillance data, information technology solutions have been implemented over the last 3 decades. Russo PL et al. (J Hosp Infect, DOI: sought to review the impact of electronic surveillance software on infection prevention resources using existing published reports.

A systematic review of published reports (period 2006-2016) of electronic surveillance of HAIs was conducted. Electronic surveillance software was defined as a system that performs electronic HAI surveillance or an automated process that identifies HAIs.

Overall, 16 studies were included in the review. The majority of these were conducted in the USA, and 50% involved hospital-wide surveillance programs. An in-house electronic surveillance system was used in 10 studies, and a commercially-available system was used in 5 instances. Of studies reporting sensitivity and specificity, sensitivity ranged from 80-100% and specificity ranged from 88-100%. In 13/16 studies, estimates were provided for reduction in time spent on surveillance activities. The range of reduction spanned 12.5-98.4%. No study reported an increase in infection prevention staff time.

Findings suggest that implementation of electronic surveillance software into hospital environments is associated with reduced infection prevention staff time related to surveillance, while maintaining adequate case detection (high sensitivity and specificity). Further studies are required to evaluate the impact upon redirected infection prevention staff resources and patient outcomes.

Contact us

VICNISS Healthcare Associated Infection Surveillance Coordinating Centre.  792 Elizabeth Street Melbourne VIC 3000 Phone: +61 3 9342 9333 | Fax: +61 3 9342 9355  Email: VICNISS @


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