As Mandatory Public Reporting of Hospital Surgical Infections Begins April 30th, New Website Educates Public on the Risks and Prevention of Deadly Surgical Infections

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The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, in an effort to further reduce patients risks for developing hospital acquired infections, is implementng mandatory public reporting of Surgical Infection rates, April 30 2009. This major step towards improving patient safety brings Surgical Site Infections (SSI's), and individual Hospitals infection rates, into full-view of the pulic. Theramed Corporation has launched a website to educate the pubic on the risks and strategies for prevention of deady surgical site infections at

As Ontario Hospitals prepare this month to begin mandatory public reporting of Surgical Site Infection (SSI) rates in a move to further improve Patient Safety, Mississauga-based Theramed Corporation has launched a new website to help Patients better understand the risks of SSIs and prevention strategies.

Surgical Site Infections (SSIs) are devastating to patient safety and hospital budgets, but relatively unknown to the Public-at-large despite being the 2nd most common cause of hospital adverse events.

Approximately 50,000 Canadians each year develop an SSI, doubling their risk of death, making them 5 times more likely to be readmitted to hospital and 60% more likely to require time in Intensive Care. On average SSI patients spend 8 additional days in Hospital.

Most often, media reports on Hospital Infections focus on the MRSA and C. difficile 'superbugs' when in fact SSIs cost the cash-strapped Canadian Healthcare System over $200M and over 400,000 bed-days annually.

It is surprising that such a serious and tangible threat to patient safety, with such a huge cost on Canadian Healthcare resources has, until fairly recently, have been largely overlooked or overshadowed. With the Ontario Ministry of Health's move to mandatory public reporting of hospital SSI rates beginning April 30th 2009, however this is changing.

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute through its 'Safer Healthcare Now' campaign has focused on improving healthcare and patient safety through a number of initiatives including SSI prevention. This initiative has been focused on healthcare professionals however and is resulting in adoption of Safer Healthcare Now SSI prevention measures in many hospitals across the country.

Now, Canadians preparing to go for a surgical procedure also have a new resource at their disposal to ensure they are fully informed about SSIs, and equipped to engage in a dialogue about this risk and prevention with their Surgeon. Patients scheduled for surgery and their caregivers may visit With the present level of concern over swine flu, the very real and present danger of SSI's needs to remain front-and-centre especially for patients scheduled or planning to undergo surgical procedures.


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Stephen Mcelroy
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