Now that the newest addition to our medical campus is open, including updated surgical rooms, we thought it would be an excellent time to discuss surgeries and the care after an operation. You may think surgeries are a small part of rural hospital activities, but no surgery is ever minor in its relation to how it can impact the ongoing quality of life for a patient.
With improvements in surgical technology, like our robotic-assisted knee replacement system, we are able to give more patients access to quality surgical care. In the fiscal year 2018, FCMC performed over 900 surgeries. All those surgeries mean we also commit to a focus on infection control and keeping our infection rates after surgery to less than 1%. That is a remarkable accomplishment, given that we track and take accountability for infection rates one year after surgery. One of the biggest questions we get is, “what causes infections?” There are many reasons, but two common causes are related to patient activities after an operation or patient history. Two knee infections that occurred in the past help illustrate the risks and need for care after any operation.
Our low infection rates are one of several reasons why the hospital maintains a 5-star rating in our patient satisfaction survey. While the risk of infection is difficult to determine with such variations of patient health states before and after surgery, even after a patient returns home, we continue to be involved in their care. To lower a patient’s risk of infection, we recommend the following:
A final part is the treatment if an infection occurs. Nationally, there has been a rise of superbugs that are multidrug-resistant to antibiotics. We encourage you to be Antibiotics Aware to reduce resistance. If you develop an infection after surgery, this helps our doctors use the appropriate antibiotics when necessary, and with better outcomes. Regardless of where you had your surgery, call us directly if you suspect an infection. We are always here for you through every stage of your healthcare life.
Want to learn more about infection rates? Check out the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare website, where you can see all Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) rates. Currently, it is “estimated 5-15% of all hospitalized patients experience an HAI.”