Preventing Surgical Site Infections: Implementing a Multidisciplinary Evidence-Based Strategy

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Surgical Site Infections (SSI’s) have become the Achilles heel for many institutions. CMS no longer pays hospitals to treat patients that are re-admitted due to surgical site infections. As a result, hospitals are focusing on surgical site infection prevention strategies. Vanderbilt University Medical Center has taken the bundle approach to SSI prevention, as other leading institutions have. Their focus has been to follow the patient from the time they schedule their surgery to their follow up visit, post-op clinic visit, a full circle view.  

By including the surgical clinic team, perioperative team, infection control, post-surgical floor, and surgeons, the complete picture of the patient’s stay has been built into the bundles. This approach has been successfully completed with Colorectal, Cardiac, Gyn, Ortho and Neuro surgery teams as demonstrated by the Standardized Infection Ratio’s (SIR) data sets.  All SIR reportable SSI’s have become “Better than the National Average” by utilizing this approach. Cindy Kildgore, RN, BSN, MSHA, CNOR will take the audience through the journey and present methodology and tools utilized for this process.

• Identify strategies to implement surgical site infection (SSI) care bundles
• Describe tactics for overcoming barriers to change in clinical process
• Describe future technologies to aid in SSI prevention

• Perioperative Nursing Staff and Leadership
• Infection Prevention
• Med-Surg Unit Directors, Managers & Clinicians
• Clinical Nurse Specialists
• WOC Nurses and other Skin Care Specialists
• Quality Departments


Cindy Kildgore, RN, BSN, MSHA, CNOR
Perioperative Services VOR Director
Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN


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