Date of Graduation

Spring 5-20-2022

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


MSN project

First Advisor

Dr. Nneka Chukwu


Problem: In 2021, a perioperative unit experienced 21 different surgical site infections (SSIs). SSIs are associated with increased medical complications and financial costs. One risk factor for SSIs is the increased or excessive operating room (OR) foot traffic, which increases airborne contaminants within the OR.

Context: A seven-room operating department performing 5,800 surgical procedures annually. The unit specializes in general, elective, and emergent procedures for the adult population predominately in the East Bay Area. A diverse mix of surgical procedures was observed throughout this project.

Assessment: A microsystem assessment was conducted to determine the causes and patterns that lead to increased or excessive OR foot traffic in the surgical setting that may lead to the increased risk for SSIs.

Measures: The total amount of door openings was counted during 17 observed surgical procedures and separated into four different categories (Big Door Normal, Big Door Abnormal/Avoidable, Core Door Normal, and Core Door Abnormal/Avoidable).

Results: There was a total of 850 door opening throughout all procedures observed. One hundred ninety-two of those door openings were considered to be abnormal and avoidable. The number of door openings also decreased throughout the day. Based on observations, it was determined that daily door openings were 20.41/hr and abnormal and avoidable door openings were 8.37/hr. Ideal conditions should be 12.04/hr for door openings.

Proposed Interventions: Proposed interventions include reinforced education on SSIs and OR foot traffic, increased inventory checks, standardized break, and relief system, standardized communication policies, and installing door counters in all OR rooms.

Conclusion: Studies have shown that increased OR foot traffic leads to an increased risk of SSIs. Throughout an observation period in the surgical setting, it is determined that there is room for improvement to decrease foot traffic, and based on these observations, proposed interventions may aid in this effort.

Available for download on Saturday, May 20, 2023

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