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Surgical site infection (SSI) associated with coronary artery bypass (CABG) surgery

Why is this measure important?

Coronary artery bypass graft surgery is a type of medical procedure in which a doctor repairs arteries that lead to the heart. When an artery in the patient’s heart becomes blocked, coronary artery bypass surgery can restore blood flow to the heart. During surgery, a healthy blood vessel is removed from the patient’s arm, leg, chest, or abdomen (stomach). The healthy blood vessel is then connected to other arteries in the patient’s heart. This allows blood to travel through the healthy blood vessel and “bypass” the blockage. Sometimes the area of the body where the surgery takes place can become infected. This is called a surgical site infection (SSI). SSIs can involve the skin, tissues under the skin, organs, or implanted material. SSIs can cause serious problems and even death.

Hospital staff members can prevent most SSIs after coronary artery bypass surgery by following the infection control guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Hospitals following these safety guidelines will likely have low numbers in this measure.

What does this measure show?

This measure tracks patients who experienced surgical site infection after surgery.

The surgical site infections associated with coronary artery bypass graft surgery score is shown as a Standardized Infection Ratio (SIR). This ratio is found by comparing the number of SSIs associated with coronary bypass surgery at Northwestern Memorial to a national benchmark.

For this measure, a lower number is better.