- It affects up to 1.6 million people in the United States per year;
- It begins outside of the hospital for 80 percent of patients;
- Seven out of ten patients develop it following unrelated medical care; and
- It can happen to any person, any time, after any infection…even the minor ones.
It’s sepsis. And with a shockingly high mortality rate of 28 to 50 percent, it’s something that every single person – whether you’re on the exam table or wearing the white coat – should be aware of.
With World Sepsis Day (Sept. 13, 2016) just around the corner, it’s no surprise that healthcare institutions are focusing on ways to educate communities about all things sepsis: what it is, how to proactively prevent it and what to do if it does occur.
So what is the suggested sepsis solution? The answer is time. Just recently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a Vital Signs report, acknowledging that sepsis should be treated as a medical emergency.
Our own Gina Pugliese recently commented in an HFMA article: “If you suspect that they might be in early sepsis, quick initiation of therapy is critical. If you can work with the emergency medical folks, you are saving an hour during transport time by giving them some kind of care on the way to the hospital.”
With the mortality risk sneaking up 7.6 percent, every hour, minute and even every second counts when sepsis goes undiagnosed. In this case, saving time can mean saving a life.
Healthcare providers play a critical role in not only recognizing sepsis and treating it early, but also protecting patients from infections that are most likely to lead to sepsis. To get ahead of this issue, the CDC suggested that healthcare providers work to:
- Prevent patient infections;
- Educate patients and their families;
- Recognize the signs and symptoms of sepsis;
- Reassess patient management; and
- Treat cases as quickly as possible.
Implementing proven sepsis prevention and treatment practices in hospitals is paramount. For example, hospitals that have participated in Premier’s QUEST initiative cut sepsis mortality by 22 percent over six years.
What else is Premier doing around sepsis? Join us on World Sepsis Day for a special video broadcast that will showcase a sepsis survivor speaking before a live audience.
Jackie is an Informatics Region Director at Premier. In her spare time, she enjoys working on her horse farm in Virginia and spending time with her two grandchildren.