Patient Safety Reporting: Surgical Site Infections (SSI)
Hospitals that perform hip and/or knee joint replacement surgeries are required by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to publicly report their surgical site infection prevention percentages. TDMH does not perform these surgeries and is, therefore, considered “ineligible” to publicly report this information. However, TDMH remains committed to ensuring the utmost quality of care and patient safety.
Information for Patients and Families
Patient safety remains the most important priority for TDMH and this involves ensuring that patients are not at risk for contracting health care-associated infections.
We have a number of practices in place to help prevent surgical site infections, including administering antibiotics to patients at a certain time before their surgery. As of April 30, 2009, all Ontario hospitals that perform hip and knee joint replacement surgeries are required to post quarterly SSI-Prevention percentages to further promote accountability and transparency within the health system.
What are health care-associated infections?
Sometimes when patients are admitted to the hospital, they can get infections. These are called health care-associated infections.
What is a Surgical Site Infection?
A surgical site infection (SSI) occurs at the site of a surgical incision. Germs can get into the incision area, and cause an infection. It can develop within 30 days of an operation, or sometimes even up to one year if an implant (such as a knee or hip joint implant) is used.
Infections can be minor, or occasionally they can increase complications that result in a longer length of stay in the hospital, or an increased readmission rate for patients. Post-
operative SSIs are the most common health care-associated infections in surgical patients.
What can patients do to help reduce their chances of infection?
Follow the pre-operation instructions given to you by your surgeon and health care team.
Frequent hand cleaning is another way to prevent the spread of infection. Hand hygiene involves everyone in the hospital, including patients.