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Keywords:

  • legislation;
  • public reporting;
  • surgical site infection

Abstract

Objective

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are common, costly, and often preventable. There are no national requirements for measuring or reporting hospital SSI rates and state-level monitoring occurs with little coordination between states. We designed a study to describe the current status of SSI reporting in the United States.

Methods

We reviewed SSI monitoring and reporting legislation in all 50 states in September 2010. Data collected included whether SSI monitoring and reporting legislation exists, if public reporting is required, how the data are accessible, and for which procedures SSI data are reported.

Results

Twenty-one (42%) states have legislation for SSI monitoring and reporting. All 21 of these states require public release of findings. Of the states with legislation, eight (38%) currently have SSI data available publicly. A range of two to seven procedures were reported for SSI measurement by individual states. Eighteen (86%) states use state agency websites to make their data publicly available.

Conclusion

There is wide variation in state monitoring and reporting of SSI rates. Standardized reporting may be needed so that consumers can make informed health choices based on quality metrics.