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Compliance with Surgical Care Improvement Project Measures and Hospital-Associated Infections Following Hip Arthroplasty
Zhong Wang, PhD, MPH1; Foster Chen, BS1; Michael Ward, MD1; Timothy Bhattacharyya, MD1
1 CTOB/IRP/NIAMS/NIH, Building 10 CRC, Room 4-1350, 10 Center Drive, MSC 1468, Bethesda, MD 20892-1468. E-mail address for Z. Wang: john.wang@nih.gov
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Investigation performed at the Clinical Trials and Outcomes Branch, Intramural Research Program, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, or the U.S. government.

This article was chosen to appear electronically on June 27, 2012, before publication of the final, definitive version.

A commentary by B. Sonny Bal, MD, JD, MBA, is linked to the online version of this article at jbjs.org.

Disclosure: None of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of any aspect of this work. One or more of the authors, or his or her institution, has had a financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with an entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. Also, one or more of the authors has had another relationship, or has engaged in another activity, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

Copyright © 2012 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2012 Aug 01;94(15):1359-1366. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.K.00911
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Hospital compliance with the Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) measures has increased recently for patients undergoing hip arthroplasty. However, reductions in postoperative infections were less than expected, and concern remains about complications associated with prophylaxis against venous thromboembolism (VTE). We sought to examine the association between hospital adherence to SCIP measures and postoperative infections.


We conducted an observational study of 17,714 patients who underwent hip replacement in 2008 at 128 New York state hospitals. These hospitals were divided into less compliant and highly compliant groups, on the basis of their levels of compliance compared with the median value of compliance with SCIP measures. From the New York State Department of Health annual report, we collected the confirmed postoperative infections at the facility level. From the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project state inpatient database, we identified incidences of postoperative infections at the patient level, using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification diagnosis codes.


During 2008, mean hospital compliance increased from 93.5% to 96.0% for the infection prevention measure and from 91.4% to 97.5% for the VTE prevention measure. Higher adherence to infection prevention measures was not associated with a significant reduction in infection (p ≥ 0.09 for all). Hospitals that were at least 97% compliant with the SCIP VTE-2 measure (patients receiving VTE prophylaxis around the time of surgery) reported significantly higher infection rates compared with less compliant hospitals (1.60% versus 0.93%; p < 0.001). Similarly, patients from highly compliant hospitals (for the VTE-2 measure) were at significant risk of postoperative infection (adjusted odds ratio, 1.50; 95% confidence interval, 1.07 to 2.12; p = 0.02).


Targeting complete compliance with SCIP infection prevention measures was not associated with additional reductions in infection outcomes following hip replacement. Furthermore, significant risk of postoperative infections may result from increased perioperative use of VTE prophylactics.

Level of Evidence: 

Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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