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Reducing Surgical Site Infections

On Feb 24, 2012

Last month, a cross-functional team of infection prevention experts released “Educate, Empower, Engage: A Collaborative Interdisciplinary Call-to-Action for Reducing Surgical Site Infections.” This white paper, the result of last fall’s Infection Prevention Leadership Summit, outlines potential solutions for preventing surgical site infections (SSIs) at health care facilities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that as many as 500,000 surgical site infections (SSIs) occur annually, a rate representing as much as 22 percent of total health care-associated infections (HAIs). Research gathered from IPLS attendees showed the barriers to reducing the number of infections may reside within a health care facility’s workplace culture. Responses from professional health care organizations and industry experts indicate health care facilities face challenges related to teamwork; communication and collaboration; process improvements; and compliance with infection prevention recommended practices on site.

Among the findings:

  • More than 50 percent of those surveyed cited teamwork and collaboration as a top challenge, with 40 percent identifying it as a barrier.
  • Only 43 percent of surgical staffs receive SSI hospital report cards/dashboards.
  • Process improvements were a challenge among 31 percent of facilities.

The white paper serves as a call to action for improving collaborations and communication across hospital teams. Read the Executive Summary or download the white paper.

The fourth annual Infection Prevention Leadership Summit was held October 2-4, 2011. The summit is a collaborative effort supported by an educational grant from 3M and its partners Sage Products, Belimed, and Rochester Medical, and with participation by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC); the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management (IAHCSMM): the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF); the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA); and the Surgical Infection Society (SIS).



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