Best Practices in Managing Sepsis (Part 2)

10/15/18 8:00 AM

In the previous entry, we discussed ways in which sepsis care can be improved: education, quality improvement programs, and using new diagnostics tests. Hospital staff and patients must be educated on the latest findings on sepsis and the best sepsis-related practices. Sepsis quality improvement programs must be implemented to ensure a directed focus towards sepsis care. Additional diagnostic tests must be used to aid in speedy recognition and confirmation of sepsis.

Use Evidence-Based Treatments

Another way in which sepsis care can be improved is by using evidence-based treatments; the standard of care for which is constantly evolving. Such treatments include resuscitation with fluids, vasoactive medications, and proper antibiotic administration.

Bundles

It is also important to follow sepsis bundles that have been created by the Society of Critical Care Medicine. These bundles, or manuals, provide detailed instructions on proper care and sepsis protocol. In 2016 there was a 3-hour and 6-hour bundle. In 2018, a new 1-hour was also introduced. The hour corresponds to all the actions that must take place from the time of initial suspicion of sepsis or “time zero”.

Technology

Lastly, adoption of new technology can greatly improve sepsis management. As previously discussed, current methods of sepsis diagnosis only work when symptoms have manifested, which creates a delay in treatment administration. However, with innovative technologies such as EHR-based infection surveillance tools, real-time alerts, clinical decision support, and machine learning systems, sepsis can be detected and treated far earlier in its progression.

Driven to improve patient outcomes and improve sepsis care, Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital adopted InSight, a machine-learning algorithm that can predict the onset of sepsis up to four hours in advance. Prior to implementation of InSight, only manual screenings for sepsis were done. With InSight, hospital staff receive automatic, real-time notifications alerting clinicians to sepsis onset. This allows for earlier detection and treatment of sepsis, and has led to a significant improvement in patient outcomes, evidenced by a relative reduction of 9.85% in sepsis-related hospital mortality and a 12.4% relative reduction in hospital length of stay.

Adoption of new technology can make a significant difference in sepsis management. When combined with changes in education, use of diagnostics tests, treatment plans, and protocols, sepsis outcomes can be improved.

To learn more about Nacogdoches and other hospitals that have implemented InSight visit http://www.dascena.com/case-studies.

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