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cost analysis, evidence-based antibiotic administration, patient safety, Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP), surgical site infection (SSI)



  1. Sutherland, Tori MD, MPH
  2. Beloff, Jennifer MSN, RN, APN
  3. Lightowler, Marie MPH
  4. Liu, Xiaoxia MS
  5. Nascimben, Luigino MD, PhD
  6. Urman, Richard D. MD, MBA


The Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) was launched in 2005. The core prophylactic perioperative antibiotic guidelines were created because of recognition of the impact of proper perioperative prophylaxis on an estimated annual 1 million inpatient days and $1.6 billion in excess health care costs that are secondary to preventable surgical site infections. There is a need to create low-cost, standardized processes on an institutional level to improve compliance with prophylactic antibiotic administration. The impact of interventions on provider compliance with SCIP inpatient antibiotic guidelines and net financial gain or loss to a large tertiary center were assessed. A single hospital was able to significantly improve their SCIP compliance and emphasis on patient safety within a year of intervention implementation. The hospital earned an additional $290 612 in 2011 and $209 096 in 2012 for reinvestment in patient safety initiatives. Low-cost interventions aimed at educating providers that utilize existing infrastructure result in improved SCIP compliance and patient safety. As a secondary gain, there were hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual cost savings. The impact of compliance on infection rates is inferred but requires further study.