Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


James Rohrer


Surgical site infection (SSI) is the most common healthcare-associated infection. Approximately 2% to 14% of surgical patients are diagnosed with SSI, which may extend length of stay in the hospital or lead to readmission and may necessitate another surgical procedure. Patient readmission due to SSI costs health care industries about $3,000 to $29,000 per case and a total of $10 billion per year. The purpose of this quantitative cross-sectional retrospective study was to examine the association between SSI and teaching status, hospital ownership, and number of beds in the hospital. The epidemiological triad was used as a framework to describe the relationship between the person (hospital is the unit of analysis), place (regional location), and time (one year of data). The dataset used in this study was retrieved from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. A hospital was classified as having a high SSI rate if its rate was in the highest third. Contingency tables were used to test the relationships. The chi-square tests revealed that teaching hospitals were more likely to have high SSI rates than were nonteaching hospitals. Forty percent of teaching hospitals had high SSI rates compared to 26% of nonteaching hospitals (p < 0.001). Hospital ownership, bed size, and region were not significant predictors of high SSI rates. Findings from this study may lead toward further reductions in SSI by guiding infection control efforts toward hospitals with higher rates.

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Epidemiology Commons