Journal articlesQuality improvement approach to reducing readmission for surgical site infection

Quality improvement approach to reducing readmission for surgical site infection

06/07/16 | Infection, Surgical wounds | Melissa Rochon, Sukeshi Makecha, Carlos Morais, Deborah Luff, Leah Richardson, Bibi Persaud-Rai, Sandy Tibbles, Deepthi Joseph, Vimal Sriram

Surgical site infection (SSI) is the third most common healthcare-associated infection, yet is the most costly in terms of resources. Objective: To improve patient care experience, develop better links between acute and community care and reduce readmissions for SSI. Methods: To reduce cardiac SSI, a photo of the surgical wound was taken on the day of hospital discharge (Photo at Discharge = PaD), accompanied by individualised information for patients and carers. Patient feedback was sought via a postal questionnaire (85% return rate) and telephone follow-up. A prospective surveillance service monitored SSI rates on readmission. Results: Observational audit and SSI surveillance data collected over a 21-month period suggest PaD is associated with four times lower readmission rates for incisional SSI (p=0.0344). The potential savings are estimated at £15,000 per deep incisional SSI prevented. Discussion: PaD is associated with improved patient experience, a reduction in incisional SSI readmission rates and substantial associated savings. It has the potential to be applied in other surgical categories, and a similar approach for photo electronic assessment and documentation may be utilised for standard in-hospital wound care.