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Evidence to Improve Care

Surgical Site Infections

Care in All Settings: Prevention, Identification, and Care Coordination

This quality standard addresses care for people of all ages who have a surgical procedure that requires an incision (a cut through the skin).

See below for a summary of the quality standard or download it for more detailed statements.

Download the Quality Standard

Quality Statement 1: Risk Assessment
People having surgery receive a routine preoperative health assessment that includes general health evaluations and an assessment of their risk for developing a surgical site infection. These assessments are documented using a standardized approach.

Quality Statement 2: Preoperative Patient Care
People having surgery are advised to have (or are helped to have) a shower, bath, or bed bath on the day before or the day of surgery. If hair removal is required, it is performed immediately before surgery. Nasal decolonization may be performed if indicated.

Quality Statement 3: Antibiotic Prophylaxis
If antibiotic prophylaxis is indicated prior to surgery, people receive appropriate medication based on the type of surgery – at the appropriate time, dose, and postoperative duration. This includes repeat intraoperative doses when indicated.

Quality Statement 4: Perioperative Monitoring
People having surgery have their body temperature and oxygen levels optimized during the perioperative period.

Quality Statement 5: Operating Room Procedures
People having surgery receive care from an operating room team that minimizes the transfer of microorganisms during the procedure. Specific safety measures are required for operating room personnel, equipment, and patients, as well as for the management of traffic in and out of the operating room.

Quality Statement 6: Patient, Family, and Caregiver Education
People having surgery, as well as their family members and caregivers, receive information, education, and support for all stages of their care. This includes the results of the risk assessment, how to prevent and recognize an infection, and who to contact if they have concerns about wound healing.

Quality Statement 7: Coordination of Postoperative Care
People who have had surgery are given an appropriate referral for follow-up care and treatment, if required. All members of the care team use regular written, verbal, or electronic communications to share information about the patient’s status and treatment regimen.

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