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CPSI Share                                                    
12/21/2015 2:00 AM

February 2016 is designated as Canadian Surgical Site Infection (SSI) Prevention Audit Month, where healthcare teams across the country will measure compliance with best practices in the prevention of SSI. SSI is the most common healthcare-associated infection among surgical patients, with 77 per cent of patient deaths reported to be related to infection. Auditing established processes for preventing SSI will help to identify areas of excellence and improvement in perioperative care.

Teams participating in the 10,000 Reasons to Race for Infection Prevention collaborative, an initiative of the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council, are using data collection as an integral part of understanding surgical site and surgical urinary tract infections (UTI). Their goal is to reduce SSI and UTI infection rates by 50 per cent, by November 2016.

"You can't do improvement without a baseline," says Geoff Schierbeck, Quality Leader, BC Patient Safety & Quality Council. "The Canadian SSI Prevention Audit is a voluntary process that provides that baseline snapshot and the ability to compare our rates nationally. This joint effort is a catalyst to showcase the good work that is being done across the country, and to share ideas and learn from others on how to address issues around SSI."

Join the National Information Call on Thursday, January 7, 2016 to learn more about the Canadian SSI Prevention Audit and how you can take part!

There is no cost to participate in the audit. The sample size and sampling strategy is at the discretion of your organization and you can conduct your SSI prevention audit(s) any time during the month of February. The audit can be done concurrently, by collecting information on the patient over time up to discharge, or retrospectively, by doing chart reviews on discharged patients.

A data collection form is used to audit a patient chart/record. The audit will take approximately five to 10 minutes per patient to complete, and consists of several questions to assess the completion of specific tasks. For example:

  • Pre-op shower of bath with soap or antiseptic agent?
  • Solution used for intra-operative intact skin cleansing?
  • Prophylactic antibiotic administration?
  • Appropriate prophylactic antibiotic re-dosing according to guidelines?
  • Discontinuation of prophylactic antibiotic?
  • Hair removal method?

The Canadian Surgical Site Prevention Audit is an initiative of Safer Healthcare Now!, a program of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, along with its partners Alberta Health Services – Surgery Strategic Clinical Network, Atlantic Health Quality & Patient Safety Collaborative, BC Patient Safety & Quality Council, Health Quality Ontario, and Saskatchewan Ministry of Health – Patient Safety Unit.