The importance of definitions and methods in surgical wound infection audit

J.S. Reilly*, D. Baird, R. Hill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the value of a full-time audit nurse personally following up every patient from admission to 30 days postoperatively in order to obtain accurate surgical wound infection rates. Our results show that this type of audit is an effective, although time-consuming, way of collecting accurate data on wound infection rates. It enabled the early identification of problem areas in practice and facilitated the adoption of evidence based practice. As a result of the audit there was a significant reduction in the clean wound infection rate from 13.9% in November 1995 to 7.9% in March 1998 (P= 0.05).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-66
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


  • wound infection
  • quality
  • audit
  • infection control
  • definitions
  • methods
  • evidence-based practice


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