Each year, more than 4,500 patients receive inpatient surgeries at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center (PSJMC).
Approximately 1,000 of these patients meet the criteria established by the Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) guidelines to discontinue antibiotics within 24 hours after surgery end time.
SCIP was undertaken to decrease morbidity and mortality associated with postoperative infections in surgical patients, and provides national, evidence-based recommendations.
The recommendation to discontinue antibiotics is the third quality measure of the SCIP index and is known as SCIP 3. PSJMC’s compliance with SCIP 3 had remained persistently low at approximately 36 percent – the hospital’s poorest compliance with any national clinical quality recommendation.
In August 2006, PSJMC launched a Six Sigma project to address the problem.
The standardized processes and tools have enabled the nursing and pharmacy staffs to better focus on delivering the highest quality of patient care, and have improved interactions among physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other relevant stakeholders.
In addition, while the goal of PSJMC’s clinical performance improvement initiatives is to deliver reliable care and to save lives, not dollars, the SCIP 3 project generated an estimated $35,000 in annual savings at PSJMC.