NQF Maintains Endorsement of Safe Practice to Prevent Surgical Site Infection

The National Quality Forum (NQF) announces that its board of directors has maintained endorsement of a Safe Practice that was considered under NQF's ad hoc review process. Safe Practice 22, which addresses appropriate skin preparation to prevent surgical site infection, is part of a broader list of 34 NQF-endorsed Safe Practices for Better Healthcare, which are tools to guide healthcare systems in providing safer care.

The practice on surgical site infection was considered under ad hoc review because of concerns raised about the specific type of product recommended for use to prepare skin for surgery to prevent infection. The board of directors voted to maintain endorsement of the safe practice with minor modifications to reflect evidence in infection prevention and perioperative preparation.

The final practice directs health professionals to preoperatively use solutions that contain isopropyl alcohol as skin antiseptic preparation until other alternatives have been proven as safe and effective, and allow appropriate drying time per product guidelines.

NQF is a voluntary consensus standards-setting organization. Any party may request reconsideration of the recommendations by notifying NQF in writing via e-mail at appeals@qualityforum.org by Feb. 8, 2011. For an appeal to be considered, the notification e-mail must include information clearly demonstrating that the appellant has interests that are directly and materially affected by the NQF-endorsed recommendations and that the NQF decision has had (or will have) an adverse effect on those interests.