Surgical Care Improvement Project
The risk of surgery patients suffering an infection can be reduced if they receive the indicators of care suggested below. Click each indicator to learn why it’s important and how Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) compares nationally for that indicator.
The statistics below were compiled July 2012 – June 2013, as reported to the Hospital Quality Alliance.
This chart shows the percentage of surgery patients who received an antibiotic within one hour before the first incision. The timing is important: getting an antibiotic earlier, or after surgery begins, is not as effective.
This chart shows the percentage of surgery patients who received the antibiotic which works best for their type of surgery. Medical research has shown that certain antibiotics work better to prevent wound infections for certain types of surgery.
This chart shows the percentage of surgery patients who stopped receiving antibiotics within 24 hours after surgery. Continuing the medication longer than necessary can increase the risk of side effects such as stomach aches and serious types of diarrhea. Also, when antibiotics are used for too long, patients can develop resistance to them and the antibiotics won’t work as well.
Even if heart surgery patients do not have diabetes, keeping their blood sugar under good control after surgery lowers the risk of infection and other problems. “Under good control” means their blood sugar should be 200 mg/dL or less when checked first thing in the morning.
Sometimes surgical patients need to have a urinary catheter, or thin tube, inserted into their bladder to help drain the urine. Catheters are usually attached to a bag that collects the urine.
Surgery patients can develop infections when urinary catheters are left in place too long after surgery. Infections are dangerous for patients, cause longer hospital stays, and increase costs.
This shows the percent of surgery patients whose urinary catheters were removed on the first or second day after surgery. Research shows that most surgery patients should have their urinary catheters removed within 2 days after surgery to help prevent infection.
Hospitals can prevent surgical wound infections and other complications by keeping the patient’s body temperature near normal during surgery. Medical research has shown that patients whose body temperatures drop during surgery have a greater risk of infection and their wounds may not heal as quickly. Hospital staff should make sure that patients are actively warmed during and immediately after surgery to prevent drops in body temperature.
This measure shows the percent of patients whose body temperature was normal or near normal during the time period 15 minutes before the end of surgery to 30 minutes after anesthesia ended.
It is often standard procedure to stop patients' usual medications for awhile before and after their surgery. But if patients who have been taking beta blockers suddenly stop taking them, they can have heart problems such as a fast heart beat. For these patients, staying on beta blockers before and after surgery makes it less likely that they will have heart problems.
This chart shows the percentage of surgery patients who actually received treatments to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is essentially blood clots which can limit blood flow and cause complications including swelling and pain. DVT can lead to a potentially life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism.