Postsurgical Infection Rates Low in Ambulatory Surgery Centers, but Risks Remain

February 26, 2014 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Surgical site infection rates following ambulatory surgery are low, but given the large number of people who undergo ambulatory surgery, many people are affected by these complications, which often require hospitalization, finds a study published in the February 19, 2014, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study examined patients from eight states who underwent ambulatory surgery in hospital-owned ambulatory and freestanding settings in 2010. The researchers studied elective procedures that are considered low to moderate risk because they are moderately invasive, require general or regional anesthesia, and are of short duration. Procedures included laparoscopic cholecystectomy, hernia repair, abdominal hysterectomy, and transurethral prostatectomy. The overall rate of postsurgical acute care visits for surgical site infections within 14 days was 3.09 per 1,000 ambulatory surgical visits and, within 30 days, 4.84 visits.

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