Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) illustration
The Importance of Infection Prevention and Control
Over the past ten years, the health care delivery system has undergone enormous change. Often, service delivery has shifted to settings such as ambulatory clinics, work sites and clients’ homes. The historic separation between the activities of hospitals, nursing homes, physicians and other care providers have become increasingly blurred. Infection control practices must now encompass infections that clients may acquire as a result of their care or treatment — both in and outside of an acute care setting.
General Infectious Disease Risk Assessment Tool
Infectious disease are caused by organism such as bacteria, virus, parasites and fungi, etc. Some harmful organisms can cause disease in workers and others in the workplace, in fact any workplace may be faced with infectious disease threats. It is becoming increasing important for organizations to have infection control knowledge and demonstrate readiness and response capabilities to these types of threats. Without the focus and commitment of employers, many workers and others may be at an increased risk of exposure to infectious diseases.
It is essential that organizations build capacity to identify, assess and manage infectious disease threats. An infectious disease risk assessment (IDRA), is an important component of every organization’s workplace health and safety prevention program. Identifying and assessing an organization’s infectious disease risks is the first step in preventing infectious disease exposure.
The following tools and appendices have been developed for broader public organizations to help them identify and assess infectious disease risks, develop controls and an action plan to protect workers or others in the workplace. For those working in healthcare please see the Infectious Disease Threat Risk Assessment for Acute Care resource.
Infectious Disease Threat Organizational Risk Assessment (IDT ORA) Tool
In July 2016, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) released a plan to build a more ready and resilient health system to respond to future infectious disease threats (IDTs). The aim of the plan is to help enable the systems, structures, skills and culture to maintain readiness and to protect health care workers (HCWs) and all Ontarians.
Phase one of the MOHLTC’s provincial baseline requirements includes the completion of an annual organizational risk assessment (ORA). The ORA is not meant to duplicate the extensive knowledge, resources and tools related to routine practices, pandemic planning, and well established IPAC program components. Likewise, the ORA is not meant to replace specific MOHLTC directives issued in the event of an IDT in the province.
PSHSA, in collaboration with the MOHLTC, established a multi-stakeholder expert advisory/working group to support the development of a practical and scalable tool for the acute care sector.
The IDT ORA Tool follows a six-step risk management process and is divided into two worksheets:
1) Risk Identification and Analysis Worksheet; and
2) Risk Assessment and Management Worksheet.
It is important for organizations that elect to use the tool for their annual ORA to read the supporting guide and customize the tool to reflect their workplace, as well as the corresponding hazards and risks of exposure.
ora resource manual
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
In January 2020, a novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19) was identified as the cause of an outbreak of pneumonia originating in Wuhan, China. The Ontario Ministry of Health indicates that there is evidence of human-to-human transmission of this virus. The situation continues to evolve, and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Public Health Ontario are closely monitoring the outbreak, conducting surveillance and appropriate laboratory testing, and providing public health and infection control guidance. The Ontario Ministry of Health has produced Guidance Documents and Directives for a number of health sectors related to COVID-19.
For more information on how to recognize possible symptoms and what to do if you're sick, visit Ontario.ca/coronavirus and Public Health Ontario for more information. Visit our COVID-19 Resource Centre for the latest information on sector-specific job guidance for employers and workers, provincial directives, recommendations, and more
Ebola PPE Checklists
Before using our Ebola PPE checklists, please read this essential Pre-Planning document.
When it comes to infectious diseases, personal protective equipment is just one important factor in protecting a worker. In times of crisis, sometimes things can be overlooked that can impact the worker, facility or even general population. These sector-specific checklists were designed to address the unique needs of: Acute Care and Emergency Medical Services. Using them in conjunction with the Pre-Planning document can eliminate risk of infection while ensuring your staff have the best possible protection.
- COVID-19 in Ontario - Government of Ontario
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) - Public Health Ontario
- Preventing Worker Fatigue Among Ebola Healthcare Workers and Responders
- Infection Prevention and Control Canada
- Current Travel Health Notices
- Ebola Virus Disease – MOHLTC
- Advice for Returning Travellers – Public Health Ontario
- Infection Prevention and Control Checklist for Dental Practice Settings
- Reprocessing Checklist in Dental Practice Settings