New York City—September 1, 2010
“At Hospital for Special Surgery, we perform more joint replacement surgery than any other hospital in the country, and infection prevention is a critical component of our best practices,” said surgeon-in-chief Thomas P. Sculco, M.D. “We are vigilant about infection prevention at every level, from washing hands to maintaining a clean environment for our patients in the operating room and the entire hospital.”
Surgeons at Hospital for Special Surgery performed 15 percent of the nearly 26,000 hip replacement or revision procedures in New York State in 2009. Special Surgery was the only hospital of the 169 hospitals included in the report that had a statistically lower surgical site infection rate than the state average of 1.3 percent for that particular procedure. Hospitals that performed the highest number of hip replacement procedures had the lowest infection rates, according to the report.
“When patients select a hospital, a low infection rate should be one of the items at the top of their list,” said Louis A. Shapiro, president and CEO. “At Hospital for Special Surgery, we believe that infection prevention is everyone’s responsibility. Success can only be achieved with contributions from our entire staff, from surgeons and nurses to technicians and housekeepers.
Numerous best practices contribute to the low infection rate for hip replacement at Hospital for Special Surgery. All joint replacement procedures are performed quickly, in an average of one to two hours, and with regional anesthesia to reduce bleeding. The operating room teams remain consistent to speed surgical time, and an infection prevention specialist is dedicated to the operating room. During surgery, patients have minimal exposure to contaminants because they are isolated from the environment by a Plexiglas enclosure. After surgery, the operating rooms and instruments are meticulously cleaned, and the infection control department ensures that heightened standards are maintained.
New York State’s strict regulatory and surveillance systems require hospitals to report certain hospital-acquired infections to the State Department of Health. Today’s publication is the third annual report of hospital-acquired infections in New York State, but the second annual report to include hip replacement procedures. The report states that the data are made publically available each year to give people information about hospital performance that could help them make informed medical decisions.
View the full report from the New York State Department of Health at
About HSS | Hospital for Special Surgery
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the eighth consecutive year) and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2017-2018). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has one of the lowest infection rates in the country and was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State. In 2017 HSS provided care to 135,000 patients from 80 countries and performed more than 32,000 surgical procedures. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Innovation Institute was formed in 2015 to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices; the global standard total knee replacement was developed at HSS in 1969, and in 2017 HSS made 130 invention submissions (more than 2x the submissions in 2015). The HSS Education Institute provides continuing medical curriculum to more than 15,000 subscribing musculoskeletal healthcare professionals in 110 countries. Through HSS Global, the institution is collaborating with medical centers worldwide to advance the quality and value of care and to make world-class HSS care more accessible to more people.