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Surgical Site Infection (SSI) can occur when germs enter the patient’s body through the surgical site. SSIs can be superficial infections involving the skin only. Other SSIs are more serious and can involve tissues under the skin, including organs.
Hospital-acquired (or hospital-associated) infections (HAIs) are infections that patients can get while admitted to the hospital for treatment. They are a major, yet often preventable, threat to patient safety.
One way to prevent SSI is to give patients antibiotics 0 to 60 minutes (for usual antibiotics) or 0 to 120 minutes (for an antibiotic known as Vancomycin) before surgery.
This indicator shows the of patients who received antibiotics within the appropriate time prior to primary hip or knee joint replacement surgery.
Measuring, monitoring, and reporting SSI prevention rates is one part of a comprehensive Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) program. The information gathered can assist hospitals with evaluating the effectiveness of their IPAC interventions and make further improvements based on this information.
The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) introduced public reporting as part of a comprehensive plan to improve transparency and accountability related to hospital care. SSI prevention data is entered monthly into the MOHLTC Self Reporting Initiative website, and cases are reported to the public on a quarterly basis.