Baden Cantonal Hospital: SSI Intervention

The Baden Cantonal Hospital participated in the pilot phase of the “SSI Intervention” module for reducing surgical site infections. Ursula Leuenberger, the project manager and an advisor on hospital hygiene, reports.  

Ursula Leuenberger, how did you proceed in introducing “SSI Intervention”?

We formed a task force made up of medical management in the areas of surgery, anaesthesiology, infectiology and hospital hygiene, surgical care as well as the head of risk management. A little later, the head of ward for positioning care was also included.

We first changed our skin antisepsis and hair removal guidelines to conform to the Swissnoso standards. We also merged the anaesthesiology and infectiology guidelines for perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis. All affected personnel were then trained for the new guidelines.

What problems did you run into?

In the past, nursing staff handled hair removal in the operating theatre. According to Swissnoso, that job should be handled in pre-op, so we proceeded to assign it to the positioning care unit. For capacity reasons, the latter initially resisted that change, which meant that responsibilities remained unclear for a bit. But by now everyone has accepted the new process. As is always the case, it takes time and conversations to alter a long-established practice.

What do you attribute the successful implementation of the module to?

It was crucial that the task force involve representatives of all groups involved in the process. Equally important was the support of management, which compelled everyone to cooperate in a constructive manner. This made it easier for me to observe the processes in the surgical area and support infection prevention personnel in making improvements.

Last modification 03.12.2019

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Division of Communicable Diseases
Infection Control and Vaccination Programme Section
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