Evidence-Based Nusing Innovations: Original ArticlesSternal Wound Care to Prevent Infections in Adult Cardiac Surgery PatientsStoodley, Lynda MSN, NP-C, CCRN-CSC, PCCN, CNML; Lillington, Linda DNSc, RN; Ansryan, Lianna MSN, CNS; Ota, Reiko BSN, RN; Caluya, Jun BSN, RN; Camello, Edwin BSN, RN; Huskins, Maria BA, RN; Franco, Daniella BSN, RN; Silvino, Cherry Mae BSN, RN; Nwokafor, Ezioma BSN, RN; Van Zitter, Brandy RN; Olton, Maria RN; Howard, Linda RN, MS; Bailey, Lorri BA, RN; Mohler, Rhonda RN Author Information Clinical Education Department (Mss Stoodley, Lillington, Ansryan, and Bailey), Torrance Memorial Medical Center (Mss Ota, Huskins, Franco, Silvino, Nwokafor, Van Zitter, Olton, Howard, and Mohler and Messrs Caluya and Camello), California; and University of Arizona, Tucson (Ms Stoodley). Correspondence: Lynda Stoodley, MSN, NP-C, CCRN-CSC, PCCN, CNMI, Clinical Education Department, Torrance Memorial Medical Center, 3330 Lomita Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505 ([email protected]). The authors thank Reiko Ota, Jun Caluya, and Edwin Camello for taking the lead on this project and Dr Linda Lillington for her review and guidance. The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article. Critical Care Nursing Quarterly: January/March 2012 - Volume 35 - Issue 1 - p 76-84 doi: 10.1097/CNQ.0b013e31823b1e5f Buy Metrics Abstract Sternal wound infection post–cardiac surgery is a serious complication that can lead to increased length of stay, substantial financial impact, and increased mortality. The occurrence of sternal wound infections has been reported from 0.4% to 4% of postoperative cardiac surgeries. It is imperative that every heart surgery program implements the best practice to prevent the detrimental effects of sternal wound infections. In an effort to improve the cardiothoracic (CT) surgery program in a community hospital, a decision was made to create a specialty floor including specialized nurses to care for open-heart surgery patients. In October 2010, a group of these nurses formed a working committee to explore ways to improve the overall care of our CT surgery patients. A vision and purpose for this committee were identified: (1) update and improve practice for CT surgery patients utilizing evidence-based standards, (2) successfully disseminate this information to all staff caring for the CT surgery patients, and (3) evaluate the impact of any practice changes on patient outcomes. An initial focus for the committee was to standardize sternal wound care among all staff members on the cardiovascular floors, cardiac care unit, and progressive care unit. © 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.