Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
In response to improving quality patient care, combined with the growing rates of surgical site infections (SSIs) in vascular patients, the need to explore current practice trends with current evidence has been identified. SSIs affect quality patient care and compromise patient safety. Empirical evidence has recommended the use of a chlorhexidine wash preoperatively to reduce SSIs. Despite this recommended practice, vascular patients were not receiving it in their routine plan of care within a hospital organization in southern Ontario. Guided by Lewin's theory of planned change, this project explored how the planning of a chlorhexidine preoperative surgical skin preparation protocol impacted progress toward improved care of vascular patients. The project was designed as a quality improvement project examining approximately 110 vascular surgical procedures over a 1-month period and staff surveys that were provided to staff in the preoperative (n = 88), same day surgery (n = 68), and inpatient (n = 47) units. These data were analyzed and demonstrated a reduction in vascular SSIs from 4.9% pre-implementation to 2.8% 1-month post-implementation. Major themes generated from the staff surveys demonstrated the nursing staff had a good understanding of the content that was presented in the in-service provided. These findings have implications for social change by highlighting the benefits of incorporating evidence in to practice and further informing the preoperative practice in other surgical specialties.