At Yampa Valley Medical Center we take infection prevention seriously. We believe infection prevention starts with the patient prior to admission and continues well past the patient’s discharge. We closely monitor our performance in many initiatives aimed at reducing the following types of health care associated infections:
Surgical site infections: Any time a patient undergoes surgery, a risk for developing an infection exists. Your surgeon should review the chance for infection with you as part of the pre-surgery consent process.
Some surgeries in some patients carry a greater degree of risk than others. Patients who are smokers or who have other health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and/or heart problems are at a greater risk for developing infections.
Some types of surgeries also carry a greater risk. We classify those risks in the following way:
Class I – Low-risk patient having an operative procedure in which there is no pre-existing infection, and no entrance into a body cavity (such as respiratory, gastrointestinal, biliary or urinary tract), which would create a greater risk.
Class II – Low-risk patient having an operative procedure in which there is elective entry into the respiratory, gastrointestinal, biliary or urinary tract.
Class III – An operative procedure where inflammation is present prior to the procedure; there is spillage from the gastrointestinal tract; or there was an open traumatic wound for greater than four hours.
Class IV – An operative procedure where infection is present prior to surgery and is often the reason for the surgery.
In addition, surgeries where a medical device is implanted, such as a joint replacement, can pose a greater risk of an infection even in a healthy patient.
We encourage our patients to see their primary care physician prior to any elective (voluntary) surgery to be sure that they are in optimal health for the procedure. We also encourage a pre-screening with our pre-operative care nurses who will discuss any additional testing such as MRSA (Methycillin resistant staph aureus) that may be needed.
Once the patient arrives at the hospital, we provide care based upon recommendations from CMS that are aimed at reducing the likelihood of a health care associated infection.
Our compliance with those measures is charted below:
Once our patients leave the hospital, we encourage them to continue infection prevention measures by taking good care of their overall health, diligently washing their hands, keeping the surgical area clean, and closely following their discharge instructions.
By complying with evidence-based guidelines and reviewing each case where a concern arises, we have demonstrated a significant reduction in the number of surgical site infections for Class I and Class II procedures since 2007 as seen in the graph below.
We also follow evidence-based guidelines for prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infections, ventilator associated pneumonias and central line blood stream infections. The graph below shows the number of these types of infections since 2007: