Welcome to the second blog in this 3-part series about SSIs. In the last blog, the substantial financial impact of SSIs was presented (see Blog #1 of the series). Knowing that the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are no longer reimbursing hospitals for HAIs like SSI1, healthcare professionals are under tremendous pressure to decrease their SSI rates.
One emerging trend in SSI prevention is that of the progressive “7 S Bundle” created by Maureen Spencer, RN, BSN, MEd, CIC, FAPIC and Infection Prevention Consultant. The approach is based on a “Fishbone Diagram,” which identifies the potential risk factors of SSI.2,3 (Click to enlarge adjacent figure)
The 7 S Bundle methodology to prevent SSIs is based on personal experience and evidenced-based practice and features a variety of unique and innovative infection prevention options (Visit www.7sbundle.com for more information). (See Table 1).
The steps outlined are meant to be considered when investigating and evaluating your institution’s surgical site infections and prevention program.
Within these steps, there are several innovative products that feature CHG technology across the post-operative continuum of care, including:
- Skin preparation
- Surgical irrigant solutions
- Antimicrobial sutures
- Antimicrobial dressings
In fact, if you attended AORN 2018 in April, you may have been introduced to products containing or coated with CHG that can help support the 7 S Bundle approach.
CHG is effective against a broad spectrum of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, yeasts, and some viruses. Chlorhexidine is the active antimicrobial agent, and chlorhexidine gluconate is a commonly used form of chlorhexidine because it is colorless, odorless, and easily dissolves in water.4
In vitro, chlorhexidine can kill nearly 100% of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria within 30 seconds. 4 Numerous pharmaceuticals and medical devices have incorporated the application of CHG technology, including as a skin prep, hand sanitizer, surgical prep, on vascular catheters, and in wound care and oral care.4 CHG is the standard of care for infection prevention in healthcare facilities because of its efficacy and long history of safe use.4 Despite its widespread use for over 60 years, to date there are no reports of chlorhexidine resistant strains of bacteria or fungi.4
The outcomes of innovative application of products like this encourage the healthcare industry to pursue research and development in new solutions that may help clinicians improve the risk of SSI at their institutions.
Minimizing infection risk is an essential part of optimizing “The Triple Aim” of the Affordable Care Act. Eloquest Healthcare is committed to providing solutions that can help you reduce this risk.
Next time, see detailed information about one of these products in part 3 of this series, “ReliaTect® and Post-Op Risk Prevention.”
References: 1. Stone PW. Changes in Medicare reimbursement for hospital-acquired conditions including infections. Am J Infect Control. 2009;37:17A-18A. 2. 7 S Bundle. www.7sbundle.com. Accessed 04/23/18. 3. Edmiston Jr CE, et al. An incision closure bundle for colorectal surgery. AORN Journal. 2018;107(5):553-565. 4. ChlorhexidineFacts.com website. http://www.chlorhexidinefacts.com/the-molecule.html. Accessed February 15, 2017.