The following article features coverage from the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) 2018 Annual Conference in Austin, Texas. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage. 

According to findings presented at the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) 2018 Annual Conference, colon surgical site infection (SSI) rates improved using an evidence-based approach, along with increased education and collaboration with healthcare providers.

A near tripling of the colon SSI rate despite only a 14% increase in colon procedures at the study site led researchers to review current procedures, as well as potential causes and solutions.

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For this study, investigators worked with the Infection Prevention team to analyze SSI cases and site infection rates, and monthly electronic health record reports were assessed to evaluate bundle element compliance. The authors also collaborated with providers such as the preadmission team, preop managers, and nurses to improve procedures and education on various aspects of the surgical process (eg, patient procedural showers, bundle compliance, counseling).

Results showed that SSI bundle element compliance rates improved to 87% from 27%, and site infection rates decreased from 1.275 to 0.51.

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The authors concluded that “having an organized, evidence based approach was critical to keep initiative on track, to measure outcomes and adjust course as needed to systematically improve outcomes and reduce SSIs.”


Thorson C. Navigating the complexities of reducing colon surgical site infections. Oral presentation at: NACNS 2018 Annual Conference; February 28-March 3, 2018; Austin, TX.