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New program reduces hospital infections

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A first-of-its-kind collaborative project between QUT and Logan Hospital designed to reduce healthcare associated infection has won national acclaim at the Australian Council of Healthcare Standards (ACHS) National Conference.

The PITCH (Preventing Infection through Cleaner Hospitals) project won the Non-Clinical Service Delivery Award.

QUT PhD student responsible for PITCH, Michelle Allen, said healthcare associated infections were one of the leading causes of preventable illness and death in Australian hospitals and that PITCH combined evidence based practices with implementation science to improve staff knowledge and attitudes, as well as cleaning performance.

Logan Hospital’s Infectious Diseases Consultant Dr Marjoree Sehu explained that results from a Best Practice Australia survey of patients in late 2013 concluded that hospital cleanliness was the number one expectation from hospital inpatients and that the PITCH project provided a practical evidence-based strategy which significantly reformed environmental cleaning practices in the hospital.

“This is the first hospital in Australia to have participated in the development, implementation and evaluation of this type of hospital environmental cleaning bundle.  The pilot trial here at Logan Hospital has formed the basis of a larger trial of the bundle in 11 hospitals across Australia called ‘Researching Effective Approaches to Cleaning in Hospitals’ (REACH), led by QUT and Wesley Medical Research, and funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council in 2016-17 to assess both the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the bundle in a variety of settings,” Dr Sehu said.

Ms Allen said the hospital’s environmental services cleaning staff played an integral role in adapting and targeting the bundle tools, embracing the new practices and technology, shifting attitudes around the importance of cleanliness, and demonstrating high performance scores.

“The outcome of the PITCH project was a credit to their dedication and commitment to do a good job,” Ms Allen said.

“The success of the project is an example of Logan Hospital’s ongoing commitment to continuous quality improvement and patient centred care.”

The project also received recognition when it was awarded the Metro South Health Board Chair’s Award in earlier this year for Patient Centred Care. PITCH is one of the many research projects supported by the Centre for Research Excellence in Reducing Healthcare Associated infections and Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation (AusHSI) scholarships.

(Source: Queensland University of Technology)

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Posted On: 1 February, 2016
Modified On: 25 January, 2016


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