Among the most common complications that occur after surgery are surgical site infections and postoperative sepsis, cardiovascular complications, respiratory complications (including postoperative pneumonia), and thromboembolic complications. Patients who experience postoperative complications have dramatically increased hospital length of stay, hospital costs, and mortality rates. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has implemented the Surgical Infection Prevention Project to decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with postoperative surgical site infections. More recently, the Surgical Care Improvement Project, a national quality partnership of organizations committed to improving the safety of surgical care, has been announced. This review will provide an update from the Surgical Infection Prevention Project and provide an introduction to the Surgical Care Improvement Project.