Surgical site infection reduction by the solutions for patient safety hospital engagement network

Joshua K. Schaffzin, Lory Harte, Scott Marquette, Karen Zieker, Sharyl Wooton, Kathleen Walsh, Jason G. Newland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Surgical site infections (SSIs) negatively affect patients and the health care system. National standards for SSI prevention do not exist in pediatric settings. We sought to reduce SSI-related harm by implementing a prevention bundle through the Solutions for Patient Safety (SPS) national hospital engagement network. METHODS: Our study period was January 2011 to December 2013. We formed a national workgroup of content and quality improvement experts. We focused on 3 procedure types at high risk for SSIs: cardiothoracic, neurosurgical shunt, and spinal fusion surgeries. We used the Model for Improvement methodology and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention SSI definition. After literature review and consultation with experts, we distributed a recommended bundle among network partners. Institutions were permitted to adopt all or part of the bundle and reported local bundle adherence and SSI rates monthly. Our learning network used webinars, discussion boards, targeted leader messaging, and in-person learning sessions. RESULTS: Recommended bundle elements encompassed proper preoperative bathing, intraoperative skin antisepsis, and antibiotic delivery. Within 6 months, the network achieved 96.7% reliability among institutions reporting adherence data. A 21% reduction in SSI rate was reported across network hospitals, from a mean baseline rate of 2.5 SSIs per 100 procedures to a mean rate of 1.8 SSIs per 100 procedures. The reduced rate was sustained for 15 months. CONCLUSIONS: Adoption of a SSI prevention bundle with concomitant reliability measurement reduced the network SSI rate. Linking reliability measurement to standardization at an institutional level may lead to safer care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1353-e1360
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2015


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