By: Heidi Chan
Team Members: Sherah Bateman, Thelma Mallari, Sneha Krishna, Nicole Mundie, Lauren Puckett, Matt Muffly, Stephanie Chao
Surgical site infections (SSI) are a major healthcare issue, accounting for a significant proportion of healthcare-associated infections. The prevention of SSIs is critical in enhancing patient outcomes, reducing healthcare costs, and minimizing the burden of antimicrobial resistance. Evidence demonstrates that adherence to a surgical site infection prevention bundle is correlated with SSI reduction. However, monitoring and evaluating adherence to present SSI prevention bundles is challenging, limiting the ability to improve compliance.
Recently, a team of healthcare professionals aimed to address this challenge by implementing a surgical site infection prevention initiative. The initiative aimed to evaluate and monitor adherence to the present SSI prevention bundle in a healthcare facility.
The team faced several challenges during the implementation of the initiative, primarily due to virtual work related to the pandemic. Despite this, the team communicated effectively, held weekly team meetings, and received analytical support. The team encountered several distractions from other responsibilities during the virtual implementation, which hindered optimal performance. The team acknowledged that at least one in-person session would have been beneficial and helped facilitate in-person networking.
However, the initiative turned out to be a good learning experience for the team. The team discovered the connectivity of various initiatives and how they impacted SSI prevention. The team also noted that feedback from prior cohorts would have been beneficial.
In conclusion, SSI prevention is critical to improving patient outcomes, reducing healthcare costs, and minimizing the burden of antimicrobial resistance. The implementation of surgical site infection prevention initiatives is necessary to evaluate and monitor adherence to present SSI prevention bundles. While virtual implementation may pose challenges, effective communication and analytical support can help overcome these obstacles. Healthcare professionals should seek opportunities to network and learn from prior cohorts to enhance the effectiveness of SSI prevention initiatives.