Web site spotlight: SSI prevention measures include evidence-based guidelines

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, September 25, 2009

The final National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) that deals with a specific infection is NPSG.07.05.01, which concerns surgical site infections (SSI). As with NPSG.07.03.01 and NPSG.07.04.01, accredited facilities must meet specific requirements at certain points throughout the year.

As with the previous two NPSGs, the first milestone expected by The Joint Commission was for a facility's leadership to assign a person to oversee and coordinate the development, testing, and implementation of this NPSG by April 1, 2009. In most facilities, leaders will assign this responsibility to the infection preventionist (IP), epidemiologist, or an infection control (IC) consultant.

Evidence-based guidelines that hospitals should implement in their SSI program include:

  • Perioperative glucose control (with cardiac procedures)
  • Preoperative showering
  • Surgical skin antisepsis
  • Judicious use of implants
  • Flash sterilization
  • Aseptic technique
  • Surgical technique
  • Postop dressing

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