Date of this Version


Document Type

DNP Project


Background: Surgical site infections are a serious adverse outcome following any surgery. Despite the presence of international and standardized hospital guidelines, the prevention of surgical site infections remains a challenge for private practices and ambulatory centers. Currently, most ambulatory centers rely solely on provider reporting for their infection control reports and the education on prevention in these practices is minimal. It is critical that healthcare professionals have appropriate knowledge on surgical site infections, prevention methods and on their role in implementing evidence-based prevention strategies such as a surgical surveillance program.

Purpose: The purpose of this quality improvement project (QIP) was to improve healthcare professionals’ knowledge on surgical surveillance and its potential impact on infection prevention in private and ambulatory settings.

Methods/practice: The findings from the literature helped guide this QIP. A test was created to be used in the pre- and post-intervention phases. The test consisted of 4 demographic questions and 10 knowledge questions on current surgical infection prevention practices, surgical surveillance guidelines including telehealth follow ups, and 4 ungraded self-knowledge level questions. Ten participants completed the pre-test, and ten participants completed the educational session and post-test. A 30-minute evidenced-based educational session was conducted at a primary care clinic on indirect surgical surveillance and how it can be utilized in private practice to improve patient outcomes.

Conclusion: The findings indicated that the participants lacked the appropriate education and information on what surgical surveillance entails and how it can be utilized in private settings. Findings from the post-test indicated that the educational session did increase the knowledge of the participants on surgical surveilling and how it can directly impact patient outcomes. Post-test scores improved 29% over pre-testing scores following the educational session.

Implications for Practice: There is a lack of education and implementation of surgical surveillance guidelines in private practices across the country. Both educational leadership and management should implement the continuous and important education on how to properly utilize surgical surveillance to ensure the best and safest care is being provided to patients.