Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP)

Fourth Quarter 2012 - Third Quarter 2013 Discharges

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SCIP - Preventing Surgical Infections

Fourth Quarter 2012 - Third Quarter 2013 Discharges

The Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) is a national quality partnership of organizations interested in improving surgical care by significantly reducing surgical complications. SCIP Partners include 10 national organizations who have pledged their commitment and full support, including:

  • Agency for Health care Research and Quality
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American Hospital Association
  • American Society of Anesthesiologists
  • Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
  • Institute for Health care Improvement
  • The Joint Commission
  • Veterans Health Administration

In addition, each of the SCIP target areas is advised by a panel of technical experts. These groups have provided their expertise and resources to ensure the SCIP measures are fully supported by evidence-based research.

Surgical infections remain a common complication of surgery. Surgical site infections account for approximately 40% of all hospital associated infections among surgical patients in the USA and 3% of all post-operative patients will develop infections. Using preventative measures, such as appropriate antibiotics before, during and up to 24 hours after surgery, clipping hair at the operative site versus shaving, and keeping the patient warm during the perioperative period have all been shown to reduce the likelihood of infection as a complication.

SCIP-Inf-1 Prophylactic Antibiotic Received Within 1 Hour Prior to Surgery

Surgical wound infections can be prevented. Medical research shows that surgery patients who get antibiotics within the hour before their surgery are less likely to get wound infections. Getting an antibiotic earlier, or after surgery begins, is not as effective. Hospital staff should make sure surgery patients get antibiotics at the right time.

SCIP-Inf-2 Prophylactic Antibiotic Selection for Surgical Patients

Surgical wound infections can be prevented. Medical research has shown that certain antibiotics work better to prevent wound infections for certain types of surgery. Hospital staff should make sure patients get the antibiotic that works best for their type of surgery.

SCIP-Inf-3 Prophylactic Antibiotics Discontinued Within 24 Hours of Surgery End Time

Antibiotics are often given to patients before surgery to prevent infection. Taking these antibiotics for more than 24 hours after routine surgery is usually not necessary. 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.

SCIP-VTE-1 Venous Thromboembolism (Blood Clot) Prophylaxis Ordered for Surgical Patients

Certain surgeries increase the risk that the patient will develop a blood clot (venous thromboembolism). When patients stay still for a long time after some types of surgery, they are more likely to develop a blood clot in the veins of the legs, thighs, or pelvis. A blood clot slows down the flow of blood, causing swelling, redness, and pain. A blood clot can also break off and travel to other parts of the body. If the blood clot gets into the lung, it is a serious problem that can cause death. To help prevent blood clots from forming after surgery, doctors can order treatments to be used just before or after the surgery. These include blood-thinning medications, elastic support stockings, or mechanical air stockings that help with blood flow in the legs.

SCIP-VTE-2 Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis Within 24 Hours Prior to Surgery to 24 Hours After Surgery

Many factors influence a surgery patient's risk of developing a blood clot, including the type of surgery. When patients stay still for a long time after some types of surgery, they are more likely to develop a blood clot in the veins of the legs, thighs, or pelvis. A blood clot slows down the flow of blood, causing swelling, redness, and pain. A blood clot can also break off and travel to other parts of the body. If the blood clot gets into the lung, it is a serious problem that can sometimes cause death. Treatments to help prevent blood clots from forming after surgery include blood-thinning medications, elastic support stockings, or mechanical air stockings that help with blood flow in the legs. These treatments need to be started at the right time, which is typically during the period that begins 24 hours before surgery and ends 24 hours after surgery.

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