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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 7-14

Implementing surgical site infection surveillance in the context of WHO's implementation cycle – The perspective of one London teaching hospital

1 World Surgical Infection Society Board Member and Independent Global Health Consultant, UK
2 Guy's and Saint Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, UK

Correspondence Address:
Claire Kilpatrick
40 Craigiehall Place, Glasgow
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/wjsi.wjsi_5_22

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The role of implementation and improvement science in preventing surgical site infections (SSI) has been recognized as important and the global situation with SSI prevention warrants on-going attention. Monitoring and understanding SSI data, including ensuring the on-going availability of local infection rates is one intervention recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and plays a critical part in addressing SSI and overall health care-associated infection prevention and antimicrobial resistance. SSI monitoring, specifically surveillance, can be supported by the use of a WHO-recommended implementation cycle which is aimed at health care facility infection prevention and control (IPC) and patient safety efforts. In order to understand how the five steps in the WHO-recommended implementation cycle are being applied in the context of SSI prevention, as part of an IPC programme, a desk exercise was undertaken to collate one hospital's SSI surveillance experiences and to map these to the steps in the cycle. It was possible to map this one hospital's efforts to the WHO five steps for implementation, despite the program of work not being planned around these from the outset. Throughout all of the steps, it was evident that teamwork and communications are frequently at the core of all actions, as well as engagement, leadership, champions, and standardization to support reliability, credibility, and trust in relation to surveillance data. Sharing the experiences of hospitals in applying a recommended implementation cycle may help to highlight the importance of committing to a systematic approach to SSI prevention in the context of global IPC recommendations.

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