CUSP Intervention Reduces Colorectal Surgical Site Infections by 33%

August 8, 2012 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Implementation of a comprehensive unit-based safety program (CUSP) helped providers at a Maryland hospital reduce surgical site infections among patients who underwent colorectal procedures by 33%, according to the results of a study published in the August 2012 Journal of the American College of Surgeons. The study, which included 278 colorectal surgery patients in the 12-month preintervention period and 324 patients in the 12-month postintervention period, found that implementation of the program resulted in a decrease in the overall surgical site infection rate from 27.3% to 18.2%. The program focused on three components—accurate outcome measurement, support of hospital leadership, and engagement of frontline providers—and its interventions included standardization of skin preparation, administration of preoperative chlorhexidine showers, selective elimination of mechanical bowel preparation, warming of patients in the preanesthesia area, adoption of enhanced sterile techniques for skin and fascial closure, and assessment of previously unrecognized lapses in antibiotic prophylaxis.

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