Centre of Research Excellence in Reducing Healthcare Associated Infections (CRE-RHAI)


Why the research project is important

Healthcare associated infections (HAIs) are a major problem for patient safety and for national health systems and so surveillance of infection is the cornerstone of infection prevention in a healthcare setting. Australia has not previously been able to robustly estimate or track the incidence of HAI in Australia or the costs to the healthcare system. The absence of sufficient information has limited the ability of policy makers to respond to emergency threats in the context of infection control.

What the research seeks to do

The CRE-RHAI aimed to research the control and prevention of healthcare infections from an economic and health services perspective. The work of the CRE-RHAI can be broadly divided into three key research themes – health economics, health policy, and health system research.

What are the research outcomes/ impact

The projects undertaken in the CRE-RHAI have generated a body of evidence that will guide policy and practice. They have all clearly demonstrated that health services research is most effective when it is pragmatic and conducted in collaboration with decision makers and clinicians. The research has frequently highlighted the need for greater surveillance in hospitals to collect better and more longitudinal data with which to measure infection control. It has revealed that providing valuable and clearly communicable economic evaluations data to decision-makers remains a challenge. The work produced has highlighted the need for health economists to really get involved in this area and to engage policymakers, healthcare professionals and the community.

As a result of CRE-RHAI’s work, Australia has better and more widespread data about the factors that influence healthcare infection and is therefore closer to being able to monitor the problem at a national level.

Funding Body

The Centre of Research Excellence in Reducing Healthcare Associated Infections was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC; Grant 1030103)

Further Details

For information on resources and publications, please contact Alison Farrington at contact@aushsi.org.au


Professor Nick Graves

Professor David Paterson

Professor Tom Riley

Professor Graeme Nimmo

Professor Ben Cooper

Professor Andrew Wilson

Professor Jenny Doust

Professor Martin Wolkewitz

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

Australian College of Infection Prevention and Control