Project JOINTS

Project JOINTS (Joining Organizations IN Tackling SSIs) was an initiative funded by the federal government to spread evidence-based practices to prevent SSIs after hip and knee replacement surgery. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) provided Project JOINTS participants with free tools, resources, and special support to help implement these practices.
Watch a five-minute video: Dr. Tony DiGioia talks about the value of Project JOINTS
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Surgical Site Infection Prevention

Recent comparative effectiveness research has identified three practices that substantially reduce SSIs, especially after hip and knee replacements. Project JOINTS supports the following actions in conjunction with the  two applicable Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) practices (appropriate antibiotic use and appropriate hair removal):
  • Use of an alcohol-containing antiseptic agent for preoperative skin preparation
  • Preoperative bathing or showering with chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) soap for at least three days before surgery
  • Staphylococcus aureus screening and use of intranasal mupirocin and CHG bathing or showering to decolonize Staphylococcus aureus carriers

What Project JOINTS participants say about the initiative

"It's been helpful to be part of a multi-state, IHI initiative to reduce SSI. [Without Project JOINTS], trying to standardize these processes would have been slower without question. If it had been just two surgeons (which is how we started), these changes may never have happened. With Project JOINTS, we had QI people and a whole lot of allies working with us and not just a bunch of skeptics."
Brian McCardel, MD
Chief of Orthopedics
Sparrow Health System
Lansing, Michigan
"[Being part of Project JOINTS] was invaluable. Where else are you going to find all that information and hear all that input from everybody, small hospitals to large hospitals, some with established programs and some that were just starting out?"
Karen Tanner, RN
Orthopedic Service Line and Bariatric Surgery Program Coordinator
Mercy Medical Center
Rogers, Arkansas

Getting evidence-based care to patients more quickly

“Patients are not getting the best care reliably enough,” asserts Maureen Bisognano, President Emerita and Senior Fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). “It can take years from the publication of evidence-based advancements to when patients can reap the benefits. Patients deserve better. Organizations taking part in Project JOINTS are dedicated to accelerating the spread of practices shown to protect patients from potentially devastating infections.” By activating a network of organizations and individuals committed to the widespread adoption of effective evidence-based practices, Project JOINTS will attempt to reduce the time from publication of evidence to implementation in practice.
First launched in April of 2011, Project JOINTS began as a study of IHI’s ability to accelerate adoption of evidence-based practices. Arkansas, Colorado, Michigan, New York, and Tennessee were the first states eligible for Project JOINTS participation. Health care providers in California, Maryland/DC, Mississippi, Oregon, and Wisconsin were invited to enroll in the second stage of the initiative in early 2012. Project JOINTS was launched nationally in December of 2012 and closed in September 2013.