The orthopaedic Surgical Site Infection Improvement Programme (SSIIP) has been a successful national programme since 2011. Collection of data started in 2013 with the median national rate of orthopaedic surgical site infections (SSIs) decreasing by 25 percent by August 2015. Compliance with the recommended evidence-based interventions (surgical antibiotic prophylaxis and skin preparation) has been sustained at a high rate since this decrease in SSI rate.

In July 2019, the Commission released a discussion paper seeking feedback about proposed changes to data collection requirements for orthopaedic procedures and options for inclusion of other procedures. This was in response to recommendations made by an external evaluation of the SSIIP programme in which the feedback from the sector was a preference to reduce time spent on data collection and to have more time to identify contributing factors of the SSI cases.

At its February 2020 meeting the Commission’s Board approved the option for DHBs to transition to light surveillance for the orthopaedic SSIIP. Light surveillance requires all data collection fields to be completed for SSI cases only rather than for all procedures, which now only need 10 fields of data recorded. This will significantly reduce the time spent on data collection.

From 1 October 2020 DHBs can choose to maintain full surveillance (status quo) or transition to light surveillance.

DHBs that move to a ‘light surveillance’ method need to undertake a more detailed review on the deep and organ space SSIs. A deep dive tool has been developed in collaboration with DHBs to complete a detailed review. This is currently being tested.

Last updated 19/05/2021