Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Eric S. Andersen
Postoperative surgical site infections are common complications in the operating room. Infections prolong hospital stays, heighten costs, and increase morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this evidence-based quality improvement project was to develop policy, program, and practice guidelines to prevent surgical site infections in vascular surgery patients. Rosswurm and Larrabee's change model was used to develop materials using the best evidence for the recommended practice changes. The Plan, Do, Check, Act model was selected to guide quality improvement. The project goal was to decrease the surgical site infection rate to below the national average. Products of the project include policy, protocol, and practice guidelines developed based on recommended practices of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses and current peer-reviewed literature. An interdisciplinary project team of institutional stakeholders was used to insure context-relevant operationalization of the evidence in practice. The team was assembled, led in a review of relevant literature, and convened regularly until project products were finished. Three scholars with expertise in the content area were then identified by the project team and asked to validate the content of developed products. Products were revised according to expert feedback. Implementation and evaluation plans were developed by the project team to provide the institution with all necessary process details to carry out the practice change. The evaluation plan advises using a retrospective chart review to compare rates of infection between patients receiving chlorhexidine skin preparation with showers and preoperative chlorhexidine cloths alone. A positive outcome could contribute to positive social change by decreasing preventable infections.