Millions of people have safe surgical procedures each year, but every surgery has risks. The SCIP focuses on the prevention of surgical site infections, VTE (venous thromboembolism) and cardiac complications.
Experts agree on seven standards of care for most adults who have surgery. Our SCIP team meets regularly to improve the surgical care we provide to our patients. The following graph shows our results from January to December 2010 for comparative hospital and PinnacleHealth data and July to December 2011 for PinnacleHealth measures.
Measures that Make a Difference
Surgical wound infections can be prevented. Medical research shows that surgery patients who get antibiotics within the hour before their surgery are less likely to get wound infections.
Even if heart surgery patients do not have diabetes, keeping blood sugar under good control (200 mg/dL or less when checked first thing in the morning) after surgery lowers the risk of infection and other problems.
Preparing a patient for surgery may include removing body hair from skin in the area where the surgery will be done. Medical research has shown that shaving with a razor can increase the risk of infection. It is safer to use electric clippers or hair removal cream.
To help prevent blood clots from forming after surgery, treatments can be given just before or after the surgery. These include blood-thinning medications, elastic support stockings or mechanical air stockings that help with blood flow in the legs.