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Preventing Surgical Site Infections (SSIs)

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Learning Objectives

  • Summarize SSI rates and risk factors
  • In the context of antimicrobial stewardship, demonstrate when to administer prophylactic antibiotics and identify which antibiotics and antibiotic doses are appropriate
  • Identify and minimize infection risks posed by healthcare workers (hand hygiene, clothing, PPE)
  • Participate in safety culture and process improvements to reduce SSIs
  • Classify types of SSIs for reporting purposes
  • Perform warming techniques to ensure normothermia
  • Employ skin and environmental cleaning practices to prevent SSIs
  • Quantify effectiveness of mechanical bowel preparation (MBP) Use additional infection prevention measures as required by surgery type (wound protectors, antimicrobial coated sutures, wound irrigation)

Course Description

This course examines a wide range of SSI prevention strategies, including proper and timely antibiotic use, meticulous environmental and surgical site disinfection, and effective patient temperature and glucose maintenance.

Author Information

Laura Staubitz, Paula Yackley, and Kari Love

Did You Know...

  • Surgical site infections (SSI) are the most common nosocomial infection in the United States, accounting for 20% of all hospital-acquired infections (HAIs)
  • SSIs are associated with a 2- to 11-fold higher risk of patient mortality and an average increased cost of $20,000 per infection
  • It is estimated that 60% of SSIs could be prevented if individuals adhered to evidence-based guidelines

Course at a Glance

target audience icon Target Audience:


time to complete icon Time to Complete:

20–30 minutes

contributor icon Contributor:

Providence Health & Services

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