When pathogens invade a newly implanted joint, the consequences can be devastating. Depending on the type of bacteria and severity of the infection, the patient may require weeks or months of treatment as well as additional surgery. That is why New England Baptist Hospital takes a proactive approach to care
NEBH Makes every effort to minimize risk and prevent infection for every patient. Our process begins prior to surgery. The pre-surgical screening includes a nasal culture for MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus), a strain of bacteria that does not respond to commonly used antibiotics and leads to infections. If MRSA is found, patients receive treatment with targeted antibiotics prior to their admission to prevent postoperative infections.
The Baptist MRSA study, published in 2010 in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, showed that screening patients before surgery was key to eliminating MRSA and reducing surgical site infections. The hospital’s protocol for MRSA screening has served as a model for other hospitals across the country.
Although an uncommon occurrence, surgical site infections are a matter of primary importance at the Baptist, where surgeons perform thousands of operations annually. By virtue of its high patient volume—which builds clinical experience and expertise—the incidence of infection is extraordinarily low. In fact, studies confirm that specialized orthopedic hospitals with high annual operation volumes, like the Baptist, have the lowest infection rates.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of patients develop infections in hospitals around the nation—infections that can cause complications and increase the risk of readmission. That’s why preventing post-operative infection must be a vital component of any successful surgical program … and why, at New England Baptist Hospital, we’re committed to reducing our infection rates to zero. Our orthopedic infection rate continues to be extremely low, and our performance on nationally recognized best practice measures is near perfect.