What we measure:
A surgical site infection, referred to as SSI, is a complication resulting from surgery. An infection may develop following any kind of surgery. SSI’s can develop when germs get in the surgical wound. Nationwide Children's Hospital measures SSI for heart, back, and brain surgeries, because these kinds of operations are particularly prone to infection.
Why we measure:
Surgical site infections cause complications in a patient’s recovery. A patient that develops an SSI may have delayed healing from their surgery and may face a longer stay in the hospital. Nationwide Children's Hospital participates in two national networks to reduce and monitor surgical site infections: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network and a Child Health Corporation of America, referredto as CHCA, SSI group project.
As part of the CHCA group reduction effort, Nationwide Children's Hospital collects information on the proper timing and dose of antibiotics and proper pre-surgical skin preparation (hair removal with clippers and skin cleanser).
How we measure:
The surgical site infection measure is calculated as the number of infections for every 100 surgical procedures. An infection is considered related to surgery if it develops within 30 days following surgery or within one year if an implant is involved.
How are we improving:
We implemented “Operation Takeoff” as a method to reduce surgical site infections. “Operation Takeoff” is a checklist that combined “Time Out” procedures and pre-surgery measures intended to reduce SSI. A “Time Out” is required before every surgical procedure and it verifies key information about the patient and procedure to reduce errors. “Operation Takeoff” also includes documentation on the Time Out checklist that required pre-surgical antibiotics have been given before surgery starts. Administration of these antibiotics can reduce the risk that an SSI will occur. Once the checklist is complete, the surgery is “cleared for takeoff.” Efforts to increase the use of the checklist continue today.