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Health Quest reduces sepsis mortality

Sepsis is a serious threat to patient safety and public health. It has been found in more than one-third of patients whose hospitalization culminated in death, and inpatient care for sepsis is a crucial and substantial cost driver for hospitals. In 2017, Health Quest implemented steps to reduce sepsis mortality.

Multidisciplinary sepsis committees were created at each hospital with representation from inter-departmental staff. Committees reviewed common areas of weakness in the sepsis protocol, including timely nursing assessment, early identification of barriers, caregiver education, electronic medical record challenges and alarm fatigue. Using committee recommendations, annual sepsis education modules were established, a rapid response code was instituted and education on early sepsis recognition was provided to care partners. Committees then focused on identifying the most at-risk patients based on extensive data review and customized the existing sepsis protocol to address opportunities they found. The protocol is continually reviewed and revised as needed.

The sepsis mortality rate decreased from 20.7% in 2013 to 7.8% in 2017. The sepsis mortality ratio decreased 54% from 2013 to 2017. Health Quest outperformed the New York State average by 25% for three-hour sepsis bundle adherence and outperformed the state average by 70% for composite sepsis bundle adherence.

For more information, contact Diane C. Kantaros, MD, Associate Vice President, Clinical Quality, at (845) 475-9734 or at dkantaros@health-quest.org.