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 Surgical Site Infections (SSI) in California Hospitals, 2013


Surgical site infections are the second most common type of healthcare associated infection (HAI) in U.S. hospitals (290,000 per year) and account for the greatest additional healthcare cost, between $3.5 and 10 billion per year. As of June 1, 2011, California hospitals are required to report deep incisional and organ/space SSIs and all surgeries in 29 surgical procedure categories via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). Ten of these surgery types are included in the Interactive HAI Map along with other HAIs. This SSI report is the second based on a full year of data submitted via NHSN. It covers surgical procedures performed during 2013 and any subsequent infections reported to CDPH by May 1, 2014. 

CDPH is mandated to report SSI data using risk adjustments according to NHSN protocols. NHSN developed a category-specific Standardized Infection Ratio (SIR) for SSI in each surgical procedure category. The SIR is a comparison of the observed number of infections to the predicted number based on the national average. For 24 of the 29 reported surgical procedure categories, the SIR is risk adjusted by using information reported by hospitals on each surgery performed, including information on patient health.  Risk adjusted SIRs allow comparison among hospitals for a surgical procedure category. 


  Healthcare-Associated Infections in California Hospitals Annual Report, 2013: Key Findings and Public Health Actions

What is in this annual report? This document summarizes the key findings, including important results, key public health actions, and messages for the prevention of SSI.


To view the tables for the surgical procedure categories with risk adjusted comparisons, see Tables 1 to 24

 Tables 1 to 12 (6MB) for abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, appendix surgery, bile duct, liver or pancreatic surgery, cardiac surgery, coronary artery bypass graft with both chest and donor site incisions, coronary artery bypass graft with chest incision only, gallbladder surgery, colon surgery, Cesarean section, spinal fusion, open reduction of fracture and gastric surgery.

 Tables 13 to 24 (4MB) for hip prosthesis, abdominal hysterectomy, knee prosthesis, kidney transplant, laminectomy, liver transplant, rectal surgery, refusion of spine, small bowel surgery, thoracic surgery, vaginal hysterectomy, and abdominal surgery.

What’s in Tables 1 to 24? These tables display each hospital that submitted data on the procedure category with the numbers of procedures and infections, the risk adjusted SIR, and its 95 percent confidence interval with a comparison based on the confidence interval indicating an infection count that was lower, no different or higher than predicted.


To view the tables for the 5 surgical procedure categories without risk adjusted comparisons (heart transplant, kidney surgery, ovarian surgery, pacemaker surgery and spleen surgery), see   Tables 25 to 29 (2MB)

What’s in Tables 25 to 29? The information displayed is limited to the reported procedure and infection counts as there is no risk adjustment for comparisons.


To view the hospitals that did not perform surgeries, the long term acute care (LTAC) and rehabilitation hospitals and those that reported fewer than 20 total surgeries, see Tables 30 to 34

What’s in Tables 30 to 34? NHSN does not currently provide an appropriately risk adjusted SIR for LTACs and rehabilitation hospitals, which perform few surgeries. Their data are listed in Tables 30 to 32. Table 33 lists hospitals with no surgeries, 34 lists hospitals with fewer than 20 reported surgeries.


To view details of the processes behind the tables, see SSI Technical Notes

What’s in Technical Notes? Information on the data sources, definitions, quality assurance and control, data presentation and statistical analysis and descriptions of the laws requiring reporting, the variables that go into risk adjusting and the limitations of these processes are described here.

For more information on SSI  prevention, see SSI Information


HAI Program
Last modified on: 3/13/2015 7:56 AM