For the third year in a row, Hospital for Special Surgery is the only hospital in New York State with an infection rate that is significantly lower than the state average for hip replacement or revision surgeries, according to the 2010 report on hospital infection rates just released by the State Department of Health.
"It is vital to a patient's well-being that they are aware of a center's infection rate when choosing where to have surgery," said Louis A. Shapiro, president and CEO. "I am proud of the achievement that our entire staff continues to make in keeping more patients safe from infection."
Surgeons at Hospital for Special Surgery performed the most hip replacement surgeries in New York State, with more than 3,800 procedures, which is about 15 percent of the approximate 26,000 hip replacement or revision procedures in New York State in 2010. Hospital for Special Surgery was the only center of the 167 hospitals included in the report that had a statistically lower surgical site infection rate of 0.5 percent compared with the state average of 1.0 percent for total hip replacement or revision hip procedures.
"At Hospital for Special Surgery, we perform almost four times more total hip replacement surgeries than any other institution in New York State," said Surgeon-in-Chief, Dr. Thomas P. Sculco. "Infection in total hip surgery is catastrophic and at Hospital for Special Surgery we are totally committed to employing the most advanced techniques to prevent this devastating complication."
Hospital for Special Surgery's specialization in orthopedic surgery allows for systems that improve efficiency in surgical settings within each operating room, lowering surgical times and improving safety. Numerous best practices—many pioneered at Hospital for Special Surgery—have helped to keep infection rates low. The Hospital's anesthesiologists are leaders in using regional anesthesia for joint replacement, which limits anesthesia only to the surgical region, and reduces bleeding and surgical time.
"An infection prevention nurse is dedicated and oversees the operating room, and each room is standardized, improving efficiency and lowering surgical time by having surgical tools laid out and organized in the same order," explained Eileen Finerty, RN, nursing director for Infection Control and Occupational Health.