First Advisor

Mullen, Patricia

Second Advisor

Graham-Dickerson, Phyllis

Thesis Committee Member(s)

Gilbert, Karen A.


Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice


Loretto Heights School of Nursing

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

91 pages


Surgical site infections are a financial burden to society and are the second most frequently reported Health Associated Infection (HAI) that increases hospital stays and the chief cause of preventable death (Agency of Health Research and Quality [AHRQ], 2009; National Priorities Partnership [NPP], 2008). It is branded as the top national priority for the United States Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) and the AHRQ. Unplanned perioperative hypothermia (UPH) is associated with a 68 percent increase in the incidence of surgical site infections (Kurz, Sessler, & Lenhardt, 1996; Pikus & Hooper, 2010). The prevention of UPH and promotion of perioperative normothermia has come to the national forefront as a quality measurement designated by the Surgical Care Improvement Program (SCIP) (2005; n.d). The incidence of SSI's in the ambulatory surgical population has not been well researched (AHRQ, 2009; Barie, 2010). Therefore, the PICO question that the researcher is trying to solve is: In adult patients undergoing ambulatory surgery, do patients who are prewarmed during surgery have fewer SSIs than those that are not? Purpose The purpose of this DNP project was to determine the incidence of UPH and SSI in the ambulatory surgery population. In addition, a relationship of Preoperative patient warming to the incidence of UPH (intraoperatively) and SSI in the ambulatory surgery population was determined. The goal of the project was to identify whether the standard of care (the SCIP measures/intraoperative warming methods) was met in an adult ambulatory surgical population and whether there was a relationship between hypothermia occurrence and the subsequent development of an SSI.

Date of Award

Summer 2012

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado

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