Preventing Surgical Site Infections after Colon Surgery

Surgical site infections are the second most common type of healthcare associated infection in U.S. hospitals. A surgical site infection is an infection that occurs after surgery, in the part of the body where the surgery was performed. Many such infections involve the skin only, but some are more serious and in tissues under the skin or in an organ. These are called deep incisional and organ/space surgical site infections.

Many surgical site infections may be prevented by measures such as administration of an antibiotic and proper preparation of the skin prior to surgery. At Cedars-Sinai, our goal is to continually reduce the number of infections. We measure our performance by tracking the observed vs. expected rate of infection.

Colon Surgical Site Infection Ratio

California hospitals are required to report these deep incisional and organ/space surgical site infections to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Reporting National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). The CDPH is required to risk adjust the data according to NHSN protocols. The risk adjustment methodology uses national data to compare the actual number of infections to the expected number, based on the age and health of the surgery patients.

Expected events are based on 2006-08 data.

A multidisciplinary performance improvement team has been established to reduce the infection rate.