A Surgical Wound Infection Task Force was convened by the Society of Hospital Epidemiology of America to evaluate how surgical wound infection surveillance should be done and to identify where more information is needed. The task force reached consensus in the following areas. The Centers for Disease Control definitions of surgical wound infection should be used for routine surveillance because of their current widespread acceptance and reproducibility. The Centers for Disease Control defintions are clarified in an accompanying article. Direct observation of wounds and traditional infection control surveillance techniques are acceptable methods of case finding for hospitalized patients. The optimal method for case finding after discharge or after outpatient surgery is unknown at this time. Surgical wound infection rates should be stratified by surgical wound class plus a measure of patient susceptibility to infection, such as the American Society of Anesthesiology class, and duration of surgery. Surgeon-specific surgical wound infection rates should be calculated and reported to individual surgeons.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases