Wednesday August 27, 2014

Tracking post-op infections

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Sunrise Health Region has taken a closer look as to why post-operative infection rates have increased.

In the first quarter of the operations year, April through June 2013 there was a 2.7 per cent infection rate regionally. That rate jumped to 5.8 per cent in quarter two, prompting the review.

The data is for all General and Obstetric/Gynaecologic surgery performed only in Sunrise Health Region.

“We currently monitor 40 indicators that are related to surgical site infections,” said Roberta Wiwcharuk, Vice President of Health Services with the SHR at the Board’s regular meeting last Wednesday. “We look at a 30 day period from the day of surgery forward.”

The report presented to the Board had the Region “investigating what may have caused our infection rate to increase in the second quarter,” said Wiwcharuk.

The investigation provided some interesting assessments, in particular how well prescribed drugs are working.

“We do not know the effectiveness of the antibiotics that were being used,” said Wiwcharuk.

As a result the lab will provide microbial resistance patterns in February, she said.

The records kept for patients also came under scrutiny.

“Charting deficiencies were identified in all areas and all disciplines,” said Wiwcharuk, adding “the Clinical Improvement Facilitator will communicate charting deficiencies to the appropriate manager or the Senior Medical Officer.”

On a highly positive note, new warming blankets were proving effective, said Wiwcharuk.

“We ran a trial on warming blankets showing 90 per cent of patients maintaining normal temperatures during surgery and 100 per cent of patients leaving the recovery room at normal body temperatures,” she explained.

An Aquacel dressing trial resulted in a 62 per cent reduction in infection rates for Caesarean-Sections compared to our current wound management protocol, said Wiwcharuk.

Following the assessment “Aquacel Dressings have been implemented for Caesarean-Sections.,” she said.

Director David Schappert said it was good to see the detail in the report.

“I realize the numbers are small,” he said, but added post-op infections have been noted on the increase seemingly across the country, so staying on top of the situation locally was important. “I think we’re all concerned with the infections.”

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