A surgical site infection (SSI) occurs at the site of a surgical incision (cut). Germs can sometimes get into the incision and cause an infection. An infection can occur any time after surgery but most commonly develops shortly afterward, usually within 30 days of an operation. Sometimes infections can occur much later, especially if an implant (such as a joint replacement, for example) is used.
SSIs are among the most common healthcare-associated infections. SSIs can be minor, but occasionally they can result in a longer length of stay in the hospital or can lead to readmission to hospital. As a patient, you can help reduce your chance of infection by following all of the pre-operative instructions given to you by your surgeon and health-care team and by not shaving the area where the incision will be made.
More patient-specific information is available at patient safety and quality safety and patient and family-centered care and clean hands protect lives. (pdf)
For some operations, such as joint replacements, giving an antibiotic just before surgery is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of infection. This indicator ensures that one of the most important steps in preventing SSIs is being used – i.e., ensuring that antibiotics are administered at the right time, just before a hip or knee joint replacement surgery.
The public reporting of this indicator will reveal the percentage of all first-time hip and knee replacement surgery patients who get antibiotics at the right time, just before joint replacement surgery. It is important to note that this indicator does not measure actual surgical site infections.
Surgical Site Infection (SSI) Prevention Percentages
All hospitals that perform hip and/or knee joint replacement surgery must publicly report the SSI Prevention indicator data. These Ontario hospitals are posting their quarterly SSI Prevention percentages for their facility, using the following formula:
Surgical site prevention rates at The Ottawa Hospital
Surgical Site Infection Prevention ‘SSIP’: Hip/Knee Surgeries
|Civic Campus||General Campus|
|Denominator: Total pts receiving prophylactic antibiotics||Numerator:Total pts: Prophylactic antibiotic in approp. time||% Pts trt’d with antibiotic in approp. time before surgery||Denominator: Total pts receiving prophylactic antibiotics||Numerator:Total pts: Prophylactic antibiotic in approp. time||% Pts trt’d with antibiotic in approp. time before surgery|
|Q1 – Apr to June||61||57||93.44%||300||292||97.33%|
|Q2 – July to Sept||67||63||94.03%||326||316||96.93%|
|Q3 – Oct to Dec|
|Q4 – Jan to Mar|
|Fiscal 2019-20 YTD||128||120||93.75%||626||608||97.12%|