Eliminating surgical site infections
Eliminating surgical site infections has received significantly increased national attention over the past decade. Hospitals across the country are now publically reporting their infection rate data and they are working diligently to improve surgical care of their patients. Speare Memorial Hospital is no exception.
Led by Surgical Services and Nursing, Speare Memorial Hospital has embarked on an entry-to-discharge initiative to align our practices for major intestinal and bowel surgery patients with those of leading, world class, medical centers. Following a “bundle” of practices formally recommended by the American College of Surgeons and The Joint Commission, a 19-member team made up and led by nine RNs and including four surgeons, an anesthesiologist, and a physician’s assistant is examining every step of our care continuum for these patients.
Our project work is centered on solidifying our best practices and refining those that could be improved. Contributing factors in reducing the chance of a surgical site infection that are under scrutiny by our team include:
- Standardizing antibiotic administration
- Maintaining normal body temperature
- Care of the incision site
- Preoperative skin preparation
- Smoking cessation
- Weight control
At the conclusion of our work, we will have standardized order sets to guide our care for these patients. We are proud of the time and commitment our clinicians are dedicating to this project and look forward to the positive impact it will have for our patients.