Proactive Risk Assessment of Surgical Site Infections in Ambulatory Surgery Centers

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Abstract

Background

The Socio-Technical Probabilistic Risk Assessment, a proactive risk assessment tool imported from high-risk industries, was used to identify risks for surgical site infections (SSIs) associated with the ambulatory surgery center setting and to guide improvement efforts.

Objectives

This study had 2 primary objectives: (1) to identify the critical risk factors associated with SSIs resulting from procedures performed at ambulatory surgery centers and (2) to design an intervention to mitigate the probability of SSI for the highest risk factors identified.

Methods

Inputs included quantitative and qualitative data sources from the evidence-based literature and from health care providers. The Socio-Technical Probabilistic Risk Assessment ranked the failure points (events) on the basis of their contribution to an SSI. The event, entitled “Failure to protect the patient effectively,” which included several failure points, was the most critical unique event with the highest contribution to SSI risk.

Results

A total of 51.87% of SSIs in this setting were caused by this failure. Consequently, we proposed an intervention aimed at all 5 major components of this failure.

Conclusions

The intervention targets improvements in skin preparation; proper administration of antibiotics; staff training in infection control principles, including practices for the prevention of glove punctures; and procedures to ensure the removal of watches, jewelry, and artificial nails.

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