Surgical site infections are the second-most-common type of healthcare-associated infection in U.S. hospitals. A surgical site infection is an infection that occurs after surgery, in the part of the body where the surgery was performed. Many such infections involve the skin only, but some are more serious and in tissues under the skin or in an organ. These are called deep incisional and organ/space surgical site infections.
Many surgical site infections may be prevented by measures such as administration of an antibiotic and proper preparation of the skin prior to surgery. At Cedars-Sinai, our goal is to continually reduce the number of infections. We measure our performance by tracking the observed vs. expected rate of infection.
California hospitals are required to report these infections to the California Department of Public Health and the National Healthcare Safety Network, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The California department is required to adjust the data for risk factors according to the federal network's protocols. The risk adjustment methodology uses national data to compare the actual number of infections to the expected number, based on the age and health of the surgery patients.
The charts below show the rate of infections that occurred in patients at Cedars-Sinai vs. the expected number, for colon surgery, hip replacements, hysterectomies and knee replacements.
The standardized infection ratio is a summary measure used to track infections at a national, state or local level over time. The ratio compares the actual number of infections reported to a predicted number, adjusting for risk factors significantly associated with differences in infection incidence. A lower number is better.
The National Healthcare Safety Network instituted the new 2015 baseline time period for the number predicted calculation. The data included in the 2015 baseline will serve as a new reference point for comparing progress. CDC expects that hospital standardized infection ratios will increase and shift closer to one. This shift reflects nationwide improvement in infection prevention from the previous baseline time period.