Safety and Quality Essentials Library

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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.

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 Learners:


time to complete icon Average Completion Time:

20–30 minutes

contributor icon Co-development Partner(s):

Providence Health & Services

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