Environmental cleaning research: participating in the REACH study

Alison Farrington 1, Michelle Allen 1, Lisa Hall 1, Brett Mitchell 

On behalf of the REACH study

Queensland University Of Technology, Kelvin Grove, QLD, Australia

Avondale College of Higher Education, Wahroonga, NSW, Australia


The Researching Effective Approaches to Cleaning in Hospitals (REACH) study is a partnership project funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). It aims to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a novel cleaning bundle intervention. Eleven major Australian hospitals are participating in this research, with the trial component running from May 2016 until July 2017.

The REACH trial uses a stepped wedge study design. This design ensures each trial site receives an eight week control period, followed by a randomly allocated intervention period between 20 and 50 weeks. Participation in such a major research activity requires a significant commitment from each trial hospital. To ensure this commitment is sustainable, the REACH study team will maintain a high level of contact with each site. Local site teams will also be a key aspect of conducting the research.
During the pre-trial phase a research team will be established at each hospital. This team will include an infection prevention and control practitioner and an environmental services lead. Additional site team members will reflect local context and team structure. Site teams will assist with administrative activities for the trial, data collection and, importantly, the effective engagement of environmental services staff.

Results and Conclusion
The local site team will be essential for successful implementation of the REACH research activities. Examples of site teams’ composition and activities will be showcased to highlight diversity and the value of strong collaboration in supporting behaviour change and quality improvement initiatives.


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