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A major trial of a bundle of hospital cleaning practices in 11 Australian hospitals has made significant reductions in healthcare-associated infections and demonstrated cost-benefits. The aim of the study was to investigate whether a change in cleaning practices was effective in reducing the 165,000 healthcare-associated infections in Australia each year. The REACH study was funded by an NHMRC grant (GNT1076006), led by QUT, in partnership with Wesley Medical Research, and several industry partners including Whiteley Corporation.

“This is a very relevant piece of research as healthcare facilities face the challenge of increasing antimicrobial resistance, pressure to reduce costs and an often-revolving door of cleaning staff”, said Dr Greg Whiteley, chairman of Whiteley Corporation and Adjunct Fellow at the School of Medicine at Western Sydney University. “Whiteley Corporation has a long history of collaborative research with universities and were delighted to support the REACH initiative as an industry partner.” he continued.

“One of the key learnings from this research is the importance of surface cleaning as part of the overall Infection Prevention Toolkit” said Dr. Whiteley. “There has been a justified focus on hand hygiene as means to reduce HAIs and this is very important, however focusing on cleaning efficacy will assist in reducing HAIs further, as has been proven by the REACH study” said Greg.

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