Infection Prevention and Disease Control

Our goal is to improve health outcomes and health service delivery with respect to infectious diseases, infection prevention and disease control, and associated disciplines locally, nationally and internationally through leading, facilitating and evaluating quality research that develops new knowledge and advances in research and clinical practice.

Our two research streams

Led by Professor Ramon Shaban, we have a vision to lead Australia’s first joint academy-industry integrated Centre for Excellence in Infection Prevention and Disease Control within Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) and the University of Sydney.

Our workplan encompasses a wide range of integrated activities to:

  • Develop research-driven, strategic, and operational plans to reduce healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) as the number one hospital-acquired complication (HAC) for WSLHD
  • Strategically review and re-organise WSLHD Infection Control Services
  • Implement integrated district wide WSLHD Infection Control Program
  • Contribute to design, develop and establish the New South Wales Biocontainment Unit (NBC)
  • Build capacity in leadership of the Infection and Immunity node within Sydney Nursing School with respect to teaching, research and engagement
  • Boost strategic leadership and development of the Sydney Institute for  Infectious Diseases (Sydney ID), to include Infection Prevention and Disease Control
  • Establish Australia’s first academy-industry integrated Centre for Excellence in Infection Prevention and Control within WSLHD and the University of Sydney

Led by Professor Lyn Gilbert, our aim is to, collaboratively, promote a better understanding and more effective practice of infection prevention and control among health care workers and those they are tasked with caring for and protecting from avoidable harm.

Our workplan encompasses a wide range of integrated activities to:

  • Engage healthcare workers and consumers as co-researchers in infection prevention and control (IPC), using video-reflexive ethnography, to strengthen their IPC awareness and risk realisation and to assist them to articulate challenges and design context specific optimisation
  •  Develop research-based evidence for the safe implementation and use of PAPR and other new technologies
  • Develop nationally consistent and flexible training tools for infection prevention that can be adapted to different clinical situations.

Research to prevent and combat the spread of infection

This project aims to establish research and practice priorities for infection prevention and control in Australia. These priorities aim to key identify areas for improvement and focus, and subsequently guide the broad direction of research and allocation of resources.

Infection control professionals (ICPs) are key to the successful implementation of infection control programs and practices in healthcare. This project will examine the current competency standards for ICPs and establish a set of minimum standards for the profession.

This study explores and evaluates the structures, processes, and outcomes of outbreak management teams’ response to the COVID-19 outbreaks in disability group homes and residential aged care facilities in Western Sydney during the Delta variant COVID-19 outbreak (June – October 2021).

This project assesses the accuracy, efficacy and efficiency of hand hygiene auditing by using video surveillance footage recorded in a real-time clinical setting.

This project will see the adaptation and implementation of the nursing framework HIRAIDTM to the residential aged care sector. Infection and infectious disease outbreaks cause considerable morbidity and mortality to older people. This study aims to introduce a standardised nursing assessment tool to help nurses make better decisions and manage the complex health needs of older people more consistently.

Researching the use video-reflexive ethnography to improve infection prevention

This project tests the feasibility and efficacy of video-reflexive methods (VRM) in training, to improve HCWs’ confidence and skill in applying the PPE protocols required for different categories of infection transmission risk. This project helps us evaluate if, and how, VRM can assist in maintaining and sustaining effective infection prevention and control (IPC) practices.

This project explores the feasibility and efficacy of using video-reflexive methods (VRM) in training to improve HCWs compliance and safety with using PPE for high consequence infectious diseases

This project aims to strengthen bio-preparedness using simulation and video-reflexive methods to evaluate and improve the management and care of patients with suspected high consequence infectious disease (HCID). This includes attention to a) current policies and pathways, b) staff training, and c) interdepartmental/inter-hospital communication and collaboration.

This study assesses the ability of local trained staff to produce a subjective “correct fit” of the CleanSpace HALO on healthcare workers when compared with standardised quantitative fit testing.

This project evaluates the implementation of PAPR use during the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to improve efficiency, satisfaction and safety of users.

This study explores healthcare workers’ perspectives of video feedback for training in the use of powered air purifying respirators (PAPR) at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This project used video-reflexive ethnography to improve communication between clinicians and patients around infection prevention and control, particularly around multidrug-resistant organism screening and identification.

This project explores peoples’ perceptions and experiences of being involved in video-reflexive ethnographic research with a view to informing researchers’ future approach to video-reflexive study design and participant relationships.

This project sought to initiate and facilitate clinician-led practice improvement projects using video-reflexive (VR) methods in Westmead Hospital.

This study explored clinicians’ opinions about what PPE they think is appropriate (i.e. safe and practicable) in different situations so as to contribute to the development of optimal PPE protocols and increased rates of compliance. 

Get in touch

Professor Ramon Shaban
  • The Westmead Institute Building, 176 Hawkesbury Road, Westmead

Professor Lyn Gilbert

  • The Westmead Institute, 176 Hawkesbury Road, Westmead