Sepsis Prevention

Success Stories

Health Catalyst

Successfully Sustaining Sepsis Outcomes

Increasingly, high-functioning healthcare organizations are recognizing the challenge of sustaining results following successful clinical improvement initiatives. Sepsis is a major driver of mortality in the U.S. In fact, it is estimated that up to half of all hospital deaths are linked to sepsis. After executing a successful strategy to improve outcomes for patients with sepsis, Piedmont Healthcare was determined to sustain those critical reductions in mortality, length of stay, and cost.
The health system “hardwired” process changes into the EHR, monitored performance compliance via a well-developed analytics application, and fostered strong leadership on the frontlines to champion a culture of continuous improvement. In the second year of its latest sepsis improvement effort, Piedmont was able to not only sustain, but also to further improve upon its first-year improvement results.
Second-year results:

14.2 percent reduction in mortality for severe sepsis and septic shock translating to 68 lives saved in one year.
30.7 percent improvement in number of patients receiving calculated fluid target.
$1.2 million saved in one year from decreased variable cost.

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How to Significantly Reduce Sepsis Mortality

Up to 50 percent of all hospital deaths in the United States are linked to sepsis. That sepsis mortality statistic was not lost on Piedmont Healthcare, a system of six hospitals and more than 100 physician and specialist offices across greater Atlanta and North Georgia. Sepsis accounted for half of Piedmont’s mortality rate, despite years of progress in sepsis care.
Piedmont leaders recognized that they needed an innovative quality improvement methodology to spread best practices and sustain improvement, supported by an accessible source of timely, reliable, and actionable information. They therefore implemented a “core and spread” team structure to promote enterprise-wide adoption of best practices. The health system also deployed a sepsis prevention analytics application to deliver performance insight to all levels of the organization, and discovered a high correlation between better patient and financial outcomes and the number of bundle elements the patient received.  Being able to tie outcomes to interventions, along with the incorporation of nurse driven protocols, resulted in sustained practice change and greater engagement from physicians, nursing and frontline staff, all the way to the Board level.
As a result, Piedmont achieved the following impressive outcomes:

5.8 percent reduction in mortality for all patients with severe sepsis and septic shock, translating to 26 lives saved in one year.
2.5 percent reduction in total inpatient length of stay (LOS).
8.2 percent reduction in variable cost per case, equating to $4.3 million saved in one year.

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Sepsis: The Impact of Timely, Trustworthy Data and a Systemwide Approach to Care Improvement

For patients with the severest form of sepsis, the chance of survival decreases by 7.6 percent for every hour that antimicrobial treatment is delayed. Coordinated team work and the speed with which recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of sepsis occur are critical. Health systems across the country have discovered that by successfully engaging clinicians in driving and maintaining best practice interventions they are able to save lives and improve patient outcomes. At Piedmont Healthcare, the work of educating clinicians on the importance of following sepsis care best practices had been done. The missing pieces were a well-resourced, systemwide improvement team to improve sepsis care, and a concise way to view and give timely feedback on performance based on accurate, trusted data. To fill in these missing pieces, Piedmont created a cross-representative sepsis improvement team and enabled tracking for compliance to best practices with an analytics application from Health Catalyst. Within just three months of deploying the Sepsis Improvement Application, Piedmont has accomplished significant improvements in efficiency—and completely won trust in the data. Piedmont has already identified early indications of patient outcome improvements. Initial achievements of its sepsis improvement team include deploying systemwide visibility into sepsis care performance and best practices compliance, improved acknowledgement of first alert by 19 percent across the system, and a reduction in manual data collection by 97 percent.

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Saving Lives with Best Practices and Improvements in Sepsis Care

Every year, severe sepsis impacts more than 1 million Americans, and an estimated 25 percent die from the condition. Thibodaux Regional Medical Center is committed to driving and keeping its sepsis mortality rate to less than have the national average. How is this health system achieving these outcomes? Thibodaux formed a sepsis improvement team charged with reducing sepsis mortality and lowering costs while improving the patient experience. The team implemented best-practice care protocols, an analytics system, and an adoption approach that engaged clinicians using education and data. Backed by executive leadership and guided by clear goals, the sepsis improvement initiative has achieved impressive results in just six months that include a decrease in sepsis mortality rate to half of the national average, a 3 percent reduction in average variable cost, a reduction in LOS in the ICU by one day, and a 7 percent improvement in patient satisfaction.

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Sepsis Mortality and Length of Stay: One Hospital System’s Story

Sepsis, a serious complication that strikes quickly and is often fatal, is the single most expensive condition to treat in the hospital, in part because of the longer than average stay. To reduce sepsis mortality rates, which are between 20 and 50 percent, many hospitals have established evidence based bundles comprised of antibiotic administration, lactate level monitoring and other elements of care. However, without analytics, hospitals rely on manual processes to track sepsis rates and bundle compliance. Learn how Mission Health has streamlined surveillance by 75% while experiencing a 2.6% reduction in sepsis mortality rates and an 18% reduction in length of hospital stay.

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How to Reduce Sepsis Mortality Rates by 22%

Northwest healthcare organization Multicare reduced septecemia by 22 percent, leading to a $1.3 million cost savings in the same period. Now the organization is tackling other areas of improvement. Discover what triggered the improvements — and how these resulted in savings.

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