Establishing a Culture of Safety for the Surgical Patient: Preventing Surgical Site Infections (SSIs)

Instructor: Maureen Spencer
Product ID: 703654
  • Duration: 60 Min

recorded version

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This hour-long session on preventing SSIs to augment safety for surgical patients will discuss introducing a 7 S Bundle approach to your existing quality and safety program. The webinar instructor will define key areas that need to be monitored and risk factors that need to be eliminated to intensify healthcare safety.

Why Should You Attend:

Guidelines and recommendations for the prevention of surgical site infection (SSI) are published by the CDC, Joint Commission, Society for Hospital Epidemiologist of America (SHEA), American College of Surgeons, Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses and other regulatory agencies. There are systematic bundled strategies that can be implemented in healthcare settings where surgery is performed to reduce the risk of SSI.

These measures require a multidisciplinary team approach at all levels from healthcare administrators and surgeons to postoperative care personnel and infection control professionals. This webinar will outline specific steps a team can implement in the inpatient and outpatient surgical setting to prevent SSIs.

The session will focus individually on supporting topics like safety in the OR, screening for risk factors and the employment of quality improvement tools. Participants will join the instructor in discussing best practices for using a 7 S Bundle approach to prevent SSIs.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe common risk factors for surgical site infections.
  2. Identify organizations and associations that offer recommendation and guidelines for the prevention of SSIs.
  3. Describe a 7 S Bundle approach towards the prevention of SSIs.

Areas Covered in the Webinar:

  1. Safety in the OR: Infection prevention measures in surgical suites, surgical attire, traffic control, instrument sterilization, disinfection of the environment, surgical technique, safe medication handling procedures, and monitoring of the air handling system.
  2. Screening for risk factors and the most common microorganisms that cause SSI – MRSA and Staph aureus colonization.
  3. Shower with antiseptic soap prior to the surgery.
  4. Surgical skin prep with alcohol based antiseptics.
  5. Surgical irrigation with chlorhexidine to prevent exogenous contamination in tissues.
  6. Innovative sutures with antimicrobial action to prevent stick abscesses and local infection.
  7. Innovative postoperative skin closure to prevent postoperative contamination in incisions.
  8. Using quality improvement tools and teamwork to implement the Joint Commission NPSG 07.05.01.

Who Will Benefit:

This webinar will provide valuable assistance to:

  • Healthcare administrators
  • Surgeons and anesthesiologists
  • OR and perioperative nurses
  • Postoperative inpatient and clinic nurses
  • Infection control professionals
  • Healthcare epidemiologists
  • Personnel directly responsible for the prevention of SSIs

Instructor Profile:

Maureen Spencer, RN, M.Ed., has been board certified in infection control (CIC) for over 30 years and is a corporate infection preventionist consultant. She is based in Boston and provides consultative and educational resources as a corporate consultant for Universal Health Services, a 25 hospital system in 9 states.

She was the infection control manager at the New England Baptist Hospital, an orthopedic specialty institution in Boston and prior to that the director of infection control at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. She has served many positions on the national and local boards of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control (APIC).

In 1990, Dr. Spencer was awarded the APIC National Carole DeMille Award in honor of her expertise in the field, and in 2007, she was selected as one of the APIC Heroes of Infection Prevention for her work in establishing a MRSA and Staph aureus Eradication Program at her hospital. She was a contributing author in Comprehensive Perioperative Nursing Textbook and has presented numerous research abstracts at national conferences on her work to eliminate healthcare associated infections. The multidisciplinary work she has pioneered and directed at the New England Baptist Hospital serves as a model for best practice, illustrating the importance of team work and evidence based medicine.

Topic Background:

An SSI is an infection that occurs after surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place. Surgical site infections can manifest as a superficial infection involving only the skin or develop into a deeper infection and involve tissues under the skin, organs, or implanted material. The CDC and other organizations provide guidelines to prevent risks in the preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative periods. The patient also plays an important role in the prevention of SSI with measures they can incorporate in the surgery planning process. More surgeries are being performed in Ambulatory Surgery Centers and there are specific recommendations from APIC and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for the prevention of SSI in these settings.

The epidemiology of SSI and risk factors associated with their development are important in understanding the types of patients that develop SSI. Surgical site infections are identified using standardized definitions from the CDC and are a component of a facility’s surveillance program. These infections are part of the reporting system to the National Health and Safety Network (NHSN) and most state Department of Health’s mandatory reporting systems. It is important that the infection preventionist understands the definition, surveillance methodology and reporting structure in their facility.

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