Project Reduces Incidence of Colorectal Surgical Site Infections

December 5, 2012 | Strategic Insights for Health System


A two-and-a-half year project at seven healthcare organizations successfully reduced all types of colorectal surgical site infections by 32% and colorectal superficial incisional surgical site infections by 45%. Directed by the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare and the American College of Surgeons, the project studied the factors that potentially contribute to all types of colorectal surgical site infections and identified 34 unique correlating variables that increased infection risk, including patient characteristics; surgical procedure; antibiotic administration; preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative processes; and measurement challenges. Targeted strategies implemented in the project to reduce all types of colorectal surgical site infections included warming interventions to ensure that the patient’s temperature was consistently maintained at the recommended range for optimal wound healing and infection prevention and other solutions, such as using a weight-based antibiotic dosing protocol in order to address the inadequate administration of antibiotics.

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