Background Quality improvement (QI) campaigns appear to increase use of evidence-based practices, but their effect on health outcomes is less well studied.
Objective To assess the effect of a multistate QI campaign (Project JOINTS, Joining Organizations IN Tackling SSIs) that used the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Rapid Spread Network to promote adoption of evidence-based surgical site infection (SSI) prevention practices.
Methods We analysed rates of SSI among Medicare beneficiaries undergoing hip and knee arthroplasty during preintervention (May 2010 to April 2011) and postintervention (November 2011 to September 2013) periods in five states included in a multistate trial of the Project JOINTS campaign and five matched comparison states. We used generalised linear mixed effects models and a difference-in-differences approach to estimate changes in SSI outcomes.
Results 125 070 patients underwent hip arthroplasty in 405 hospitals in intervention states, compared with 131 787 in 525 hospitals in comparison states. 170 663 patients underwent knee arthroplasty in 397 hospitals in intervention states, compared with 196 064 in 518 hospitals in comparison states. After the campaign, patients in intervention states had a 15% lower odds of developing hip arthroplasty SSIs (OR=0.85, 95% CI 0.75 to 0.96, p=0.01) and a 12% lower odds of knee arthroplasty SSIs than patients in comparison states (OR=0.88, 95% CI 0.78 to 0.99, p=0.04).
Conclusions A larger reduction of SSI rates following hip and knee arthroplasty was shown in intervention states than in matched control states.