Electronic reminders can help patients prevent surgical site infections

The use of electronic reminders such as text messages, emails or voicemails is highly effective at getting surgical patients to adhere to a preadmission antiseptic showering regimen known to help reduce risk of surgical site infections (SSIs), according to a first-of-its-kind<.

 

Each year approximately 400,000 SSIs occur and lead to a death rate approaching nearly 100,000 according to data sources cited by study authors. To help reduce the risk of these dangerous infections, clinicians recommend that surgical patients take antiseptic showers with chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) 24 to 48 hours before admission. CHG is beneficial because it reduces the microbial burden on the surface of the skin and, thereby, the risk of intraoperative wound contamination.