Reducing the risk of surgical site infection using a multidisciplinary approach: an integrative review

J Multidiscip Healthc. 2015 Oct 13;8:473-87. doi: 10.2147/JMDH.S73565. eCollection 2015.


Purpose: To identify and describe the strategies and processes used by multidisciplinary teams of health care professionals to reduce surgical site infections (SSIs).

Materials and methods: An integrative review of the research literature was undertaken. Searches were conducted in April 2015. Following review of the included studies, data were abstracted using summary tables and the methodological quality of each study assessed using the Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence guidelines by two reviewers. Discrepancies were dealt with through consensus. Inductive content analysis was used to identify and describe the strategies/processes used by multidisciplinary health care teams to prevent SSI.

Results and discussion: In total, 13 studies met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 12 studies used quantitative methods, while a single study used qualitative interviews. The majority of the studies were conducted in North America. All quantitative studies evaluated multifaceted quality-improvement interventions aimed at preventing SSI in patients undergoing surgery. Across the 13 studies reviewed, the following multidisciplinary team-based approaches were enacted: using a bundled approach, sharing responsibility, and, adhering to best practice. The majority of studies described team collaborations that were circumscribed by role. None of the reviewed studies used strategies that included the input of allied health professionals or patient participation in SSI prevention.

Conclusion: Patient-centered interventions aimed at increasing patient participation in SSI prevention and evaluating the contributions of allied health professionals in team-based SSI prevention requires future research.

Keywords: health care team; interprofessional; multidisciplinary; surgical wound; wound infection.

Publication types

  • Review