Normothermia Interventions Reduce Surgical Site Infections

Keeping patients infection-free can be as simple as a warm blanket and Epic

Chilly ORs can help keep clinicians comfortable during procedures, but they also increase the risk of surgical site infections for patients. To help reduce this risk, the Medical University of South Carolina implemented a program in Epic to keep patients warm during surgery. So far, they’ve seen a 78% decline in SSIs for colorectal patients.

As part of MUSC’s program, nurses receive prompts in Epic to perform normothermia interventions, such as pre-warming the OR table, applying blankets, and minimizing patient exposure before draping. Nurses also track patients’ pre-op, intra-op, and post-op temperatures so that they can make sure patients’ body temperatures are within an acceptable range and perform additional interventions if needed.

In the first three years of the program, normothermia management improved by 65% for MUSC’s colorectal patient population, which helped contribute to the 78% decline in SSIs.

Epic community members can download this program here and have Epic staff install it as part of Epic’s Services.