A comparison of competing methods for the detection of surgical-site infections in patients undergoing total arthroplasty of the knee, partial and total arthroplasty of hip and femoral or similar vascular bypass

J Hosp Infect. 2004 Jul;57(3):189-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2004.03.020.


Recent research suggests that the retrospective review of the International Classification of Disease (ICD-9-CM) codes assigned to a patient episode will identify a similar number of healthcare-acquired surgical-site infections as compared with prospective surveillance by infection control practitioners (ICP). We tested this finding by replicating the methods for 380 surgical procedures. The sensitivity and specificity of the ICP undertaking prospective surveillance was 80% and 100%, and the sensitivity and specificity of the review of ICD-10-AM codes was 60% and 98.9%. Based on these results we do not support retrospective review of ICD-10-AM codes in preference prospective surveillance for SSI.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / adverse effects*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / adverse effects*
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation / adverse effects*
  • Femoral Artery / surgery
  • Femoral Vein / surgery
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Infection Control / standards
  • International Classification of Diseases / standards*
  • Medical Audit
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / diagnosis*
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / etiology
  • Queensland
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surgical Wound Infection / diagnosis*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / etiology