Each year, more than 4,500 patients receive inpatient surgeries at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center (PSJMC). Approximately 1,000 of these patients meet the criteria established by the Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) guidelines to discontinue antibiotics within 24 hours after surgery end time.
SCIP was undertaken to decrease morbidity and mortality associated with postoperative infections in surgical patients, and provides national, evidence-based recommendations.
The recommendation to discontinue antibiotics is the third quality measure of the SCIP index and is known as SCIP 3. PSJMC’s compliance with SCIP 3 had remained persistently low at approximately 36 percent – the hospital’s poorest compliance with any national clinical quality recommendation. In August 2006, PSJMC launched a Six Sigma project to address the problem.
Within just months of the Six Sigma project launch, the SCIP 3 compliance rate improved to 90 percent – very close to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center’s goal of performing among the top 10 percent of all hospitals nationally – and has been sustained. In addition, the project generated an estimated $35,000 in annual savings at PSJMC.