Abstract

Background: Our multi-institutional healthcare system had a higher-than-expected surgical site infection (SSI) rate. We aimed to improve our peri-operative antibiotic administration process. Gap analysis identified three opportunities for process improvement: standardized antibiotic selection, standardized second-line antibiotic agents for patients with allergies, and feedback regarding antibiotic administration compliance. Hypothesis: Implementation of a multifaceted quality improvement initiative including a near-real-time pre-operative antibiotic compliance feedback tool will improve compliance with antibiotic administration protocols, subsequently lowering SSI rate. Methods: A compliance feedback tool designed to provide monthly reports to all anesthesia and surgical personnel was implemented at two facilities, in September 2017 and December 2018. Internal case data were tracked for antibiotic compliance through June 2021, and these data were merged with American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) data at the case level to provide process and outcome measures for SSIs. Implementation success was evaluated by comparing protocol compliance and risk-adjusted rates of superficial and deep SSI before and after the quality improvement implementation. Results: A total of 20,385 patients were included in this study; 11,548 patients in the pre-implementation and 8,837 in the post-implementation groups. Baseline patient and operative characteristics were similar between groups, except the post-implementation group had a higher median expected SSI rate (2.2% vs. 1.6%). Post-implementation, antibiotic protocol compliance increased from 86.3% to 97.6%, and superficial and deep SSIs decreased from 2.8% to 1.9% (p < 0.001). The odds of superficial and deep SSI in patients in the post-implementation group was 0.69 (0.57, 0.83) times the odds of superficial and deep SSI in pre-implementation patients while adjusting for age, gender, diabetes mellitus, American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status (ASA) classification, wound class, smoking, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Observed-to-expected ratios of superficial and deep SSI decreased from 0.82 to 0.48 after the intervention. Conclusions: Surgical antibiotic prophylaxis standardization and providing near-real-time individualized feedback resulted in sustained improvement in peri-operative antibiotic compliance rates and reduced superficial and deep SSIs.

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