Diagnosing the Cause of the Problem

An organisation should aim for:

  • A culture of zero tolerance to healthcare associated infections (HCAI)
  • HCAI is everyone’s responsibility
  • Robust assurance for HCAI
  • A dynamic and visible infection prevention and control team

If your organisation has established it has an infection control problem, it is important to diagnose the cause, what steps need to be put in place to make improvements, and the actions required to ensure improvements are maintained, and continuously enhanced over time.
There are many areas of the organisation where problems may be found and improvements can be made.  By working through this section, your organisation will:

  • Understand why, possibly despite a significant amount of effort, the organisation may not have made the level of improvement expected in infection prevention or control
  • Understand, against a set of measures, “what works”, the current barriers, and how they might be hindering progress;
  • Identify the key actions required to enable a quick and efficient turnaround that supports progress and sustainable improvement.

Diagnosing the problem – undertaking a review and questions to consider

If your organisation is faced with an infection control issue, undertaking a diagnostic review and asking a systematic series of questions across the organisation, should help identify where improvements can be made.

A review can provide an opportunity to interview many staff across the organisation, review relevant documentation, evidence and data, observe practice, complete a root cause analysis, and undertake an environmental audit. The more comprehensive a review, the more likely the cause of the problem will be identified, leading to the development and implementation of an effective action plan.

Many areas of the organisation can be considered when ‘diagnosing the problem.’ Below is a training pack and tools designed to help identify things to look for and possible problems that will require further investigation.

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