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San Francisco hospitals lowered sepsis mortality by half

August 16, 2012
Uncategorized By LW Consulting Inc.

The healthcare sector is always looking for ways to innovate and streamline care. Efficiency is the name of the game. This is why hospitals are going through ICD-10 implementation and installing health IT technology. Along with these measures, several hospitals used a new program to reduce sepsis death by half, according to FierceHealthcare.

Nine hospitals participated in the University of San Francisco's Integrated Nurse Leadership Program, including El Camino Hospital and San Francisco General Hospital. The program focused on decreasing sepsis deaths. The condition is a severe inflammatory response by the body to germs or bacteria, according to PubMed Health. It may begin in the bloodstream, bones, gall bladder, skin, lungs or even the lining of the brain. Some common symptoms are chills, delirium, fever, rapid heartbeat and shaking.

"Sepsis is one of those conditions you hear about in med school, but you need to see more of it," Dr. Lisa Shieh, Stanford's medical director of quality, said to FierceHealthcare. "In some cases, it's straightforward, and in some cases, it's not. It takes a lot of clinical sense."

Sepsis occurs in as many as 750,000 individual across the United States and at least 28 percent of these people are likely to perish. This new program, however, has fast-tracked the screening and diagnosis methods for sepsis patients. In the first year of the initiative, sepsis deaths were lowered by 54.5 percent as well as delivered a 56 percent return on investment.

All patients were screened by nurses at the beginning of their admission as well as at the start of every new shift. A minimum of two symptoms were necessary to streamline the confirmation of a sepsis diagnosis. After this step, patients received evidence-based treatment.

When attempting to streamline care and prevent deaths, medical providers would be wise to confer with a hospital consultant offering services in the management and operational factors of a medical facility.