Magazine article Drug Topics

CDC, CMS Joining Forces to Prevent Surgical Infection

Magazine article Drug Topics

CDC, CMS Joining Forces to Prevent Surgical Infection

Article excerpt

HOSPITAL PRACTICE

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention is collaborating with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop a healthcare quality improvement project to prevent postsurgical infection. In August 2002, CDC and CMS will initiate the project, called the Surgical Infection Prevention Project (SIPP), on a national level.

Improving the selection and timing of prophylactic antibiotic administration is the goal of SIPP The project will focus on different surgeries, including coronary artery bypass graft, cardiac surgery, colon surgery, hip and knee arthroplasty, abdominal and vaginal hysterectomy, and certain vascular procedures.

The project is being administered by the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality (OFMQ). The project Web site, found at www. surgicalinfectionprevention.org, reports that members of CMS, CDC, and the Infectious Diseases Quality Improvement Organization Support Center of OFMQ meet monthly to serve as the projects steering committee. A panel of experts consisting of members of the steering committee and of national medical organizations, including the American College of Surgeons, also meets monthly. The purpose of this panel is to advise the steering committee on matters such as operations and procedures, as well as quality indicators.

Proposed indicators that focus on antibiotic selection and the timing of antibiotic administration have been developed by the panel. As listed on the Web site, these preliminary quality indicators are:

*The proportion of patients who were given antibiotic therapy in a manner consistent with current guidelines

*The proportion of patients who received antibiotic prophylaxis within the hour prior to surgical incision

*The proportion of patients whose prophylactic antibiotics were discontinued within 24 hours after surgery.

The panel also plans to develop recommendations for antibiotic therapy and is reviewing current relevant guidelines.

Keith Olson, Pharm.D., associate professor of pharmacy, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, said the role of the pharmacist in the prevention and management of surgical infection is multifactorial. He feels R.Ph.s can play an integral role in the selection of the proper antibiotic and the timing and duration of antibiotic therapy.

"Pharmacists can be leaders of multidisciplinary teams that identify the problems surrounding surgical prophylaxis and antibiotic resistance," Olson said. …

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