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 and the National Healthcare Safety Network, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The California department is required to adjust the data for risk factors according to the federal network's 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.

What Is the Standardized Infection Ratio?

The standardized infection ratio is a summary measure used to track infections at a national, state or local level over time. The ratio compares the actual number of infections reported to what would be predicted, adjusting for risk factors that have been found to be significantly associated with differences in infection incidence. A lower number is better.

Impact on Standardized Infection Ratios After 2015 Rebaselining

The National Healthcare Safety Network instituted the new 2015 baseline time period for the number predicted calculation. The data included in the 2015 baseline will serve as a new reference point for comparing progress. CDC expects that hospital standardized infection ratios will increase and shift closer to 1. This shift reflects nationwide improvement in infection prevention from the previous baseline time period.