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Reducing SSIs in Colorectal Surgery

Reducing SSIs in Colorectal Surgery

Colorectal surgery, one of the most commonly performed major procedures in the United States, has been associated with significant complications, most notably surgical site infections (SSIs). “Reducing SSI rates is a daunting challenge for clinicians and hospitals, but one that must be addressed if we want to make healthcare safer and more reliable for patients,” says Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH. “There are significant opportunities for improving SSI rates in colorectal surgery because there is great variability in performance across hospitals.” Seeking Solutions for SSIs in Colorectal Surgery The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare recently collaborated with the American College of Surgeons (ACS) to conduct a 2.5-year project to find specific solutions to the complex problem of SSIs in colorectal surgery. The program involved seven healthcare systems that volunteered to address these infections as a critical patient safety problem. Cedars- Sinai Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic, the Mayo Clinic-Rochester Methodist Hospital, North Shore- Long Island Jewish Health System, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, OSF St. Francis Medical Center, and Stanford Hospitals & Clinics participated in the project. SSI outcomes data from the ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program were used to guide the improvement effort. The project addressed preadmission, preoperative, intraoperative, postoperative, and post-discharge follow- up processes for all surgical patients undergoing emergency and elective colorectal surgery; trauma and transplant patients and those younger than 18 were not included. Participating hospitals studied superficial incisional SSIs, deep incisional SSIs, and organ space SSIs. These institutions identified 34 unique correlating variables that increased the risk of colorectal SSIs, including patient characteristics, surgical procedures and processes, and antibiotic administration. Several targeted...
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