Compliance with guidelines to prevent surgical site infections: As simple as 1-2-3?



      The purpose of this study was to assess predictive factors and compliance with surgical site infection (SSI) prevention guidelines at 2 county hospitals.


      Chart review and analysis of laparotomy patients undergoing colorectal, hysterectomy, or abdominal vascular procedures over two 6-month periods 1 year apart and evaluation of safety climate using the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ).


      Overall compliance with all antibiotic prophylaxis guidelines was 62% (n = 442). Gynecologic surgery was an independent predictor of compliance with antibiotic prophylaxis guidelines in elective cases, and nonemergency status was an independent predictor when all cases were considered. Postoperative normothermia was predicted by hospital, procedure length, initial intraoperative temperature, and service. The SAQ had a 91% response rate. Contrary to expected, safety domain scores and agreement with statements on collaboration and teamwork were not predictive of compliance.


      Interventions to improve poor compliance with infection prevention guidelines must be multifaceted, hospital- and service-specific, and resilient during emergencies. Good safety and teamwork climate are not sufficient.


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