Welcome to the SSI Toolkit. MSQC has designed this with the intention of providing a framework to assist you in identifying areas of focus for improvement, and to provide resources, recommendations, and ready access-tools to guide you through the successful implementation of a Surgical Site Infection Reduction Plan.  We hope that you can individualize your program to meet the needs of your patients within the context of your distinctive hospital cultures.


The supplied PowerPoint presentations and documents may be modified for customization, and reproduced for use and distribution in starting a SSI initiative at your site. These documents have been made available with the sole intent of assisting sites with the initiation and development of a SSI reduction program. In the interest of improving surgical care, favorably affecting patient outcomes, and wide promotion of best practices, MSQC has made these documents accessible with minimal restriction. Please be respectful of their use, and refrain from reproducing or using these documents outside of their intended purpose. Policies regarding the use of documents (tools, articles, etc.) that are obtained from other sites whose links are provided within this toolkit, must be adhered to.


Administrative Module
The SSI Administrative Module is a PowerPoint presentation designed to provide a high-level (C-suite) overview of surgical site infections. This presentation defines SSI, describes its impact, provides statistics (you can include your own site’s data), and is intended to help make a case for SSI and garner necessary administrative support.

Clinical Module 1
This module is aimed at the Surgical Clinical Quality Reviewer and designed to assist in defining SSI, conducting data drill down to identify focus areas, and developing a SSI Quality Improvement Team. Tools associated with this module include report application education and Gap Analysis (instructions, tracking form, and prevention strategies).

Clinical Module 2
This module focuses on specific strategies and resources aimed at reducing Surgical Site Infections. It targets pre-, intra-, post-operative care and includes education, processes, protocols, and checklists to minimize the chances of SSI.


SSI Case Review: This is a Peer Review template that provides reviewers (physicians & nurses) with a series of data points to help identify SSI risk factors and discussion questions to determine trends and opportunities for improvement related to SSI. Available as a either PDF or editable Word document.

Gap Analysis: Compares best practices with the processes currently in place in your organization and assists you in determining “gaps” to help you focus on your improvement efforts. Available from the AHRQ as either a PDF or Word document.

Patient Education: A variety of patient education materials are provided with the purpose of addressing what patients can do to prevent SSI and how to perform preoperative cleansing either through showers or wipes.

Briefing/Debriefing: A checklist based on the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure compliance with best practices that improves surgical patient safety.

Antibiotic Administration & Re-dosing Guidelines: An adult dosing and re-dosing guideline for prophylactic antimicrobials during surgery.

Environmental Cleaning Checklists: Checklists for Operating Room cleaning prior to first case of the day, end of case, and terminal cleaning (end of day). Additional checklists include cleaning of pre- and post-operative areas.

Wound Culture Protocol:  A guideline for when and how to obtain a wound culture. This can be used in the hospital and/or provided to primary physician offices. The purpose of this guideline is to avoid contaminated cultures that may result in false positive identification of SSI’s and result in unnecessary treatment.     


This portion of the toolkit represents a collection of resources and tools currently used in clinical practice that have been developed by MSQC member hospitals. These documents have been made available for widespread use across the collaborative to facilitate the sharing of best practices with respect to SSI and its related initiatives.

Please contact the Coordinating Center for more information.


A comprehensive set of SSI resources listed by topic heading. This list includes resources that were used in the development of the Surgical Site Infection Toolkit.

Please contact the Coordinating Center for more information.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention– This website page contains a menu of resources for Patients such as FAQs about the definition of SSI, strategies to identify and help prevent SSIs. There is also a searchable resource library of clinical resources for Healthcare Providers that include the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network surveillance and prevention guidelines, SSI procedure codes and FAQs.