Study finds benefits in investing in hospital cleaning
There are an estimated 165,000 healthcare-associated infections each year in Australia, posing a risk to patient safety and incurring significant costs. A new study led by QUT and Wesley Medical Research has found evidence that investing in environmental cleaning can help protect patients and deliver cost savings for hospitals.
The Researching Effective Approaches to Cleaning in Hospitals (REACH) trial implemented an evidence-based cleaning intervention in 11 Australian hospitals via a cleaning ‘bundle’ that comprised five components: training, technique, product, audit and communication.
Each cleaning bundle was tailored to meet local hospital needs and was implemented for between 20 and 50 weeks. Analysis of the trial outcomes found that implementation of the bundle resulted in improved cleaning performance and a reduction in healthcare-associated infection rates.
Additionally, the researchers found that the effectiveness of the cleaning bundle meant it was also a low-cost intervention, with two-thirds of the cost savings attributed to the release of hospital bed days from fewer infections.
They note that the REACH trial, which was funded by an NHMRC Partnership project grant, now provides administrators and decision-makers with “an evidence-based strategy for reducing the burden of healthcare-associated infections” in future.