Between 2 (160,000 patients) and 5 (300,000 patients) percent of patients develop surgical site infections (SSIs) as a result of certain types of surgeries (hysterectomy, colon surgeries, hip/knee replacements) every year, according to a 2016 Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET) publication. SSIs are associated with considerable morbidity and it has been reported that over one-third of postoperative deaths are related, at least in part, to SSI. SSI can double the length of time a patient stays in a hospital and thereby increase the costs of health care. Research shows that adoption of evidence-based prevention techniques can prevent 60 percent of these infections.
Reduction in various categories of surgical site infections is part of HealthInsight’s commitment to reducing patient harm by 20 percent over the next two years. HealthInsight’s plan for assisting hospitals in reducing SSIs will include providing technical assistance, self-assessment tools, educational webinars and conferences, and links to evidence-based best practices surrounding SSI prevention.