National validation of claims-based surveillance for surgical-site infections (SSIs) following colon surgery and abdominal hysterectomy.
Retrospective cohort study.
US hospitals selected for data validation by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
The study included 550 hospitals performing colon surgery and 458 hospitals performing abdominal hysterectomy in federal fiscal year 2013.
We requested 1,200 medical records from hospitals selected for validation as part of the CMS Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting program. For colon surgery, we sampled 60% with a billing code suggestive of SSI during their index admission and/or readmission within 30 days and 40% who were readmitted without one of these codes. For abdominal hysterectomy, we included all patients with an SSI code during their index admission, all patients readmitted within 30 days, and a sample of those with a prolonged surgical admission (length of stay > 7 days). We calculated sensitivity and positive predictive value for the different groups.
We identified 142 colon-surgery SSIs (46 superficial SSIs and 96 deep and organ-space SSIs) and 127 abdominal-hysterectomy SSIs (58 superficial SSIs and 69 deep and organ-space SSIs). Extrapolating to the full CMS data validation cohort, we estimated an SSI rate of 8.3% for colon surgery and 3.0% for abdominal hysterectomy. Our colon-surgery surveillance codes identified 93% of SSIs, with 1 SSI identified for every 2.6 patients reviewed. Our abdominal-hysterectomy surveillance codes identified 73% of SSIs, with 1 SSI identified for every 1.6 patients reviewed.
Using claims to target record review for SSI validation performed well in a national sample.