Update on reducing Staphylococcus aureus related SSI collaborative

25 Sep 2017 | Infection Prevention & Control

The Commission has been working over the past year to review literature, propose potential bundle options, and gather feedback from the healthcare sector regarding a pre-operative anti-staphylococcal bundle as part of the Surgical Site Infection Improvement (SSII) Programme.

The objective of this bundle is to develop a standardised national set of pre-operative interventions for orthopaedic and cardiac surgery to reduce the Staphylococcus aureus related SSI rate.

DHB participation

An invitation to participate in a collaborative to reduce Staphylococcus aureus related SSIs was sent to all DHBs and the NZPSHA to distribute to private hospitals. Participating hospitals are working together over ten months using collaborative methodologies based on the Associates for Process Improvement (API) model for improvement, as used by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI).

The organisations that are participating in the collaborative (with their specialty focus area) are listed below:

Specialty scope
Auckland DHB cardiac
Canterbury DHB orthopaedic
Hutt Valley DHB orthopaedic
Lakes DHB orthopaedic
Southern DHB cardiac
Waikato DHB cardiac
Waitemata DHB orthopaedic
Southern Cross Hamilton both

Acurity Group: 







For the purposes of this collaborative, small groups (2-4 people per hospital team) will attend three face-to-face learning sessions over the course of the collaborative, with additional members working on improvement projects in each local organisation.

There will also be monthly webinars involving additional training and discussion, and site visits from the national project team.

Following each of the learning sessions there will be action periods where hospital project teams work in their organisations to test and refine small changes, and then come together at scheduled whole group meetings where ideas and learning is shared.

The collaborative uses structured quality improvement methodologies to test small changes.

First learning sessions

The first learning session was held in Auckland on 17 August. The session included:

  • training on quality improvement methodologies (involving tools and measurement)
  • lightning talks providing an overview of some existing hospital governance structures and clinical pathways for cardiac and orthopaedic surgery 
  • discussions relating to clinical components of the bundle 
  • an opportunity to share and learn from each other and strengthen networks.

The highly engaged teams are now forming their local hospital team, working on developing an aim statement and driver diagram, identifying measures, and collecting baseline data.

Participating hospitals have been encouraged to ensure their local team is multidisciplinary and represents those departments and teams who may interact with the pathway, eg surgeons; laboratory; pharmacy, pre-assessment clinics; infection prevention and control, nurse educators etc.

The second learning session will be on 8 November 2017 in Wellington.


The Commission will provide periodic updates as we progress through the collaborative. Should you have any questions, or would like to receive a summary of learning session one please email us.

Last updated 25/09/2017