Archive Infection Control 2019

Inside Our Zero-Tolerance Policy for SSIs

A team-based approach to implementing comprehensive protocols has led to a significant dip in infection rates.

Megan Lamoreux

Megan Lamoreux, RN, BSN, CNOR



SET A GOAL Focusing on the elimination of surgical site infections will help drive the change that will create real progress.

When our facility noticed an uptick in surgical site infections at the end of 2014, it galvanized our team. Instead of pointing fingers or, worse, accepting the fact that eliminating infections is an unattainable goal, we came together and went back to the drawing board. What followed was a team-based, multilevel approach that begins soon after patients are scheduled for surgery.

It worked. Within 2 years, our SSI rates for colon procedures went from 10.7% to 0%, and hysterectomy SSI rates dropped from 7.8% to 0.6%. SSIs decreased significantly in a number of additional areas, as well. Here's how we overhauled our SSI prevention protocols and moved closer to zero infections.

1. Before surgery

We begin to address these factors as soon as we connect with patients:

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