• The impact of changes in work practice and service delivery on surgical infection rates in a general surgical unit

      Piggott, R; Hogan, A; Concannon, E; Sharkey, M; Waldron, R; Khan, W; Barry, K (Irish Medical Journal (IMJ), 2013-10)
      Ring-fencing of elective orthopaedic beds has been shown to significantly reduce surgical site infection (SSI) rates. There are fewer studies in general surgical practice. Comparison of overall surgical workload in 2007 and 2011 was performed. Data pertaining to SSI were collected and analysis of this prospectively maintained database was performed on all SSI diagnosed in 2007 and 2011. There was a significant reduction in the crude SSI rate from 117 cases in 2007 (8%) to 42 cases in 2011 (3.5%). A statistically significant reduction in SSI rate for elective surgery was observed, 7.6% vs. 2.5% (p<0.001 Chi-square test). Apart from the introduction of ring fencing, all other contributory variables remained unchanged. Ring-fencing of inpatient general surgical beds has been associated with a significant reduction in SSI rates. These data provide timely supportive evidence that ring-fencing of inpatient beds is an appropriate patient-orientated strategy.