American Hospital Association
Health Research & Educational Trust

Surgical Site Infection (SSI)

Importance: More than 15 million surgeries are performed in the United States annually (Anderson et al., 2014). Between two and five percent of these patients will develop a SSI, totaling anywhere from 160,000 to 300,000 SSIs nationwide every year. SSIs are now the most common and expensive nosocomial infection in the U.S. (Anderson et al., 2013; Lewis et al., 2013; Zimlichman et al., 2013). Nonetheless, 60 percent of SSIs are potentially preventable (Anderson et al., 2014). While statistics certainly communicate the magnitude of the problem, patient stories can help us understand the resounding impacts of SSIs on patients and their families. Listen to Rosie Bartel's experience with knee replacement surgery.

PfP Goal: By 2018, each participating HIIN hospital reduces SSIs by at least 20 percent. 

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Download the SSI Change Package

Download the SSI Checklist

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Access Additional SSI Resources