Hospital for Special Surgery is Once Again the Only New York Hospital with Surgical Site Infection Rate Significantly Lower than State Average for Hip Replacement

New York City—September 1, 2010 

For the second year in a row, Hospital for Special Surgery is the only hospital in New York State with an infection rate that is significantly lower than the state average for hip replacement or revision surgeries, according to the 2009 report on hospital infection rates released today by the State Department of Health.

“At Hospital for Special Surgery, we perform more joint replacement surgery than any other hospital in the country, and infection prevention is a critical component of our best practices,” said surgeon-in-chief Thomas P. Sculco, M.D. “We are vigilant about infection prevention at every level, from washing hands to maintaining a clean environment for our patients in the operating room and the entire hospital.”

Surgeons at Hospital for Special Surgery performed 15 percent of the nearly 26,000 hip replacement or revision procedures in New York State in 2009. Special Surgery was the only hospital of the 169 hospitals included in the report that had a statistically lower surgical site infection rate than the state average of 1.3 percent for that particular procedure. Hospitals that performed the highest number of hip replacement procedures had the lowest infection rates, according to the report.

“When patients select a hospital, a low infection rate should be one of the items at the top of their list,” said Louis A. Shapiro, president and CEO. “At Hospital for Special Surgery, we believe that infection prevention is everyone’s responsibility. Success can only be achieved with contributions from our entire staff, from surgeons and nurses to technicians and housekeepers.

Numerous best practices contribute to the low infection rate for hip replacement at Hospital for Special Surgery. All joint replacement procedures are performed quickly, in an average of one to two hours, and with regional anesthesia to reduce bleeding. The operating room teams remain consistent to speed surgical time, and an infection prevention specialist is dedicated to the operating room. During surgery, patients have minimal exposure to contaminants because they are isolated from the environment by a Plexiglas enclosure. After surgery, the operating rooms and instruments are meticulously cleaned, and the infection control department ensures that heightened standards are maintained.

New York State’s strict regulatory and surveillance systems require hospitals to report certain hospital-acquired infections to the State Department of Health. Today’s publication is the third annual report of hospital-acquired infections in New York State, but the second annual report to include hip replacement procedures. The report states that the data are made publically available each year to give people information about hospital performance that could help them make informed medical decisions.

View the full report from the New York State Department of Health at
http://www.health.state.ny.us/statistics/facilities/hospital/hospital_acquired_infections.

About Hospital for Special Surgery
Founded in 1863, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is a world leader in orthopedics, rheumatology and rehabilitation. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics, No. 3 in rheumatology, and No. 16 in neurology by U.S.News & World Report (2010-11), and has received Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. From 2007 to 2010, HSS has been a recipient of the HealthGrades Joint Replacement Excellence Award. A member of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System and an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS provides orthopedic and rheumatologic patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center. All Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are on the faculty of Weill Cornell Medical College. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at http://www.hss.edu/.

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