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Hospital for Special Surgery Has Lowest Infection Rate for Total Hip Replacement in New York State

Top Hospital Third Year in a Row According to New York State Department of Health Report

New York City—September 23, 2011

For the third year in a row, Hospital for Special Surgery is the only hospital in New York State with an infection rate that is significantly lower than the state average for hip replacement or revision surgeries, according to the 2010 report on hospital infection rates just released by the State Department of Health.

“It is vital to a patient’s well-being that they are aware of a center’s infection rate when choosing where to have surgery,” said Louis A. Shapiro, president and CEO. “I am proud of the achievement that our entire staff continues to make in keeping more patients safe from infection.”

Surgeons at Hospital for Special Surgery performed the most hip replacement surgeries in New York State, with more than 3,800 procedures, which is about 15 percent of the approximate 26,000 hip replacement or revision procedures in New York State in 2010. Hospital for Special Surgery was the only center of the 167 hospitals included in the report that had a statistically lower surgical site infection rate of 0.5 percent compared with the state average of 1.0 percent for total hip replacement or revision hip procedures.

“At Hospital for Special Surgery, we perform almost four times more total hip replacement surgeries than any other institution in New York State,” said Surgeon-in-Chief, Dr. Thomas P. Sculco. “Infection in total hip surgery is catastrophic and at Hospital for Special Surgery we are totally committed to employing the most advanced techniques to prevent this devastating complication.”

Hospital for Special Surgery’s specialization in orthopedic surgery allows for systems that improve efficiency in surgical settings within each operating room, lowering surgical times and improving safety. Numerous best practices—many pioneered at Hospital for Special Surgery—have helped to keep infection rates low. The Hospital’s anesthesiologists are leaders in using regional anesthesia for joint replacement, which limits anesthesia only to the surgical region, and reduces bleeding and surgical time.

“An infection prevention nurse is dedicated and oversees the operating room, and each room is standardized, improving efficiency and lowering surgical time by having surgical tools laid out and organized in the same order,” explained Eileen Finerty, RN, nursing director for Infection Control and Occupational Health.

All joint replacement procedures are performed quickly, in an average of one to two hours. “In general, the shorter the surgical time, the lower the risk for infection,” said Dr. Sculco.

During surgery, a patient’s exposure to contaminants is minimized, because they are isolated from the environment by a specially designed Plexiglas enclosure, which helps to improve air flow and to restrict excess personnel at the surgical field. After surgery, the operating rooms are meticulously cleaned by staff that is regularly monitored for competency by the infection control nurse, 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. This year’s publication is the fourth annual report of hospital-acquired infections in New York State, but the third 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:

See all of Hospital for Special Surgery’s initiatives towards providing the highest quality healthcare at: http://www.hss.edu/quality



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