A research paper published in the American Journal of Infection Control says a systematic approach to preparing patients for surgery can reduce both secondary, hospital-acquired patient infections and related healthcare expenses nationwide.
Lawton A. Seal, Ph.D., S.M. (AAM), Senior Program Manager, Surgical Division at Healthpoint, Ltd., a Texas-based specialty pharmaceutical company, has published clinical findings on preoperative preparation practices and costs, "A Systems Approach to Preoperative Surgical Patient Skin Preparation," in the April 2004 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, published by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. Deborah Paul-Cheadle, RN, CIC is second author.
The paper deals with preventative measures that address the mounting Surgical Site Infections, or SSI, that account for approximately 500,000 hospital-acquired infections in the United States each year, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
While skin asepsis technology cannot eliminate deaths from such infections, the study reported in the paper shows that a systems approach can help prevent these hospital-based infections. "We now have clinical data that demonstrates the positive impact Healthpoint's TRISEPTIN(R) and ACTIPREP(R) Systems can have in helping hospitals reduce their Surgical Site Infection rates," states Dr. Seal. TRISEPTIN Hand and Body Antiseptic is used by the patient to shower prior to surgery to help reduce the microorganisms that can cause surgical site infections.
ACTIPREP is a one-step preparation solution used by staff in the operating room to clean and prepare the entry area on the patient. SSIs carry a heavy financial burden, costing U.S. hospitals in excess of $1.5 billion in additional medical treatment each year. Patient stays increase 20-fold and costs quintuple when SSIs are involved in the surgical recovery process.
The CDC estimates an average of 12 days and more than $27,000 in additional costs as the result of one of the most common SSIs, Staphylococcus aureus, or "staph" infection. "Too many news stories about hospital infection rates focus on time constraints as compromising infection prevention," says Dr. Seal. "This Systems approach supports ease-of-use while effectively countering multi-drug resistant Gram negative and Gram positive bacteria as well as viruses and during the critical wound healing phase."