Home E-Weekly February 25, 2014

Infection Rates Low at ASCs

Published: February 24, 2014

Infection rates following surgeries performed at outpatient surgical centers are extremely low, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reviewed about 285,000 general, orthopedic, neurosurgical, gynecologic and urologic surgeries performed on low-risk adults at ASCs that resulted in hospitalization or return visits to ASCs for the treatment of surgical site infections.

According to their findings, 3 of every 1,000 patients who undergo surgery at ASCs are treated for SSIs at 14 days post-op, a rate that increases to nearly 5 out of every 1,000 patients at 30 days post-op. Notably, the researchers discovered about two-thirds of all SSI-related follow-up visits occurred within 2 weeks of surgery, 93% of which demanded inpatient care.

Although the risks are low, SSIs can still happen in the outpatient setting. The researchers suggest that you closely monitor patients in the weeks following surgery to detect infections before they become serious or require hospitalization.

"Healthcare-associated infections remain a common complication of care following ambulatory surgery," says AHRQ Director Richard Kronick, PhD. "The number of patients experiencing these serious infections is an important consideration, and work should continue to make outpatient surgery safer."

Daniel Cook

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