Recently released,“The Joint Commission’s Implementation Guide for NPSG.07.05.01 on Surgical Site Infections: The SSI Change Project” will provide guidance to health care organizations implementing the National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) on surgical site infections (SSIs). The free guide is based on results from The Joint Commission’s SSI Change Project, which focused on identifying effective practices for implementing NPSG.07.05.01 and reducing SSIs. Seventeen Joint Commission accredited hospitals participating in phase II of this project, including three pediatric hospitals. When selecting phase II participants for this project, hospitals had to have experienced a minimum decrease in their SSI rate of 30 percent or more for one surgical procedure for at least one year. The implementation guide defines 23 effective practices that emerged from this project, and includes supporting statements from the 17 participating hospitals, a section focused on pediatrics, and a recommended method for using the guide.
Due to the ongoing national concern about healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), The Joint Commission has published four NPSGs that focus on HAIs. SSIs are one type of HAI for which The Joint Commission has a NPSG (NPSG.07.05.01). Approximately 500,000 SSIs occur every year with significant morbidity and mortality for patients and additional costs for hospitals. On average, 2.7 percent of surgeries result in SSIs and up to 4 percent of children with surgical procedures experience an SSI. From a cost perspective, SSIs are believed to account for up to $7 billion annually in health care expenditures. It is estimated that 40-60 percent of SSIs are preventable. (Contact: Kelly Podgorny, firstname.lastname@example.org)