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Glens Falls Hospital combats surgical site infections

Surgical site infections are known to cause substantial morbidity and mortality. In an effort to reduce occurrence of these infections, Glens Falls Hospital trialed a pre-operative chlorhexidine gluconate with povidone iodine nasal decolonizing bathing set in 2018.

The trial was a collaboration between surgeons, the executive suite, nursing, value analysis, quality, patient safety and infection prevention and control staff. The three-month trial resulted in a greater than 70% reduction in SSIs compared to the previous three months and was approved for hospital-wide implementation in November 2018.

After implementation, SSIs decreased 55% by November 2019 and resulted in a net estimated cost avoidance of $95,471. Reducing the microbial burden of the skin via a skin antiseptic has resulted in better clinical outcomes, reduced costs and increased staff satisfaction. Additionally, the hospital achieved a sustained reduction in SSIs: from 0.32 to 0.14 per 100 cases.

For more information, contact Hillary Alycon, MPH, CIC, director, infection prevention and control, at 518.926.2181 or halycon@glensfallshosp.org.