The purpose of this study was to determine if adherence to the surgical care improvement project (SCIP) measures could further reduce rate of surgical site infection (SSI) and venous thromboembolism (VTE) in total joint arthroplasty (TJA) patients. We retrospectively identified all patients who underwent primary or revision TJA at our institution between July 2000 and June 2009. After implementation of SCIP measures, rate of superficial SSI increased (0.42% versus 0.60%, P = 0.05) while rate of deep SSI decreased from 0.92% to 0.82% (P = 0.46). The rate of DVT was 0.92% before and 0.83% after implementation of SCIP (P = 0.51); however, rate of PE increased from 0.87% to 1.30% (P = 0.002). Our findings indicated that SCIP has not been successful in reducing complications in TJA patients.