Other Healthcare Associated Infections Measures

Surgical Site Infections from Colon Surgery

What are we measuring and why?

Healthcare associated infections (HAI) are infections that patients acquire while receiving medical treatment in a healthcare facility. These infections are often harmful and costly to treat, but can usually be prevented through the use of proper precautions and infection control practices. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) publishes hospital HAI results, which are increasingly used to assess the quality and safety of patient care. Data are reported as a standardized infection ratio (SIR), which compares a hospital’s observed number of infections to its predicted number of infections, after adjusting for institutional characteristics known to cause differences in incidence. A lower SIR is better, with the ultimate goal of zero infections.

How are we doing and how do we compare to best practice?

Surgical Site Infections (SSI) occur in the wound created by an invasive surgical procedure, giving rise to local signs and symptoms. These infections can affect the skin around the incision, as well as the tissues, muscles, and organs beneath its surface. SSIs can be largely prevented by following recommended sterilization and infection control procedures. 

SSI rates are publicly reported for select procedures and include adult patients (aged 18+) with deep incisional and/or organ space infections occurring within 30 days of surgery. For colon surgery, MGH’s SIR (1.06) was statistically similar to the national benchmark (1.0) in 2017. Events are rare, which causes performance to fluctuate over time.


  • Current Scores
  • Scores Over Time
  • Lower values are better
0.91 1.06

MGH Source: National Healthcare Safety Network
Comparison Group Source: CMS Hospital Compare

MGH: Jan - Dec 2017
CMS: Jan - Dec 2017

1.62 1.17 1.06 0.99 0.93 0.91

MGH Source: National Healthcare Safety Network
Comparison Group Source: CMS Hospital Compare

What are we doing to improve?

To reduce SSIs after colon surgery, MGH is implementing evidence-based practices to standardize peri-operative care and promote enhanced recovery after surgery.


« Previous Page