Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ohio hospitals go to war against sepsis

The Ohio Hospital Association has declared war on sepsis, shooting for a 30% reduction in sepsis-related mortality. They note:

Sepsis incidence represents over 50,000 patients per year in Ohio or 5% of all discharges. Many of these patients continue to require additional healthcare services after surviving sepsis due to the complications of the disease. Early recognition and treatment can reduce the morbidity and mortality of sepsis.

The OHA Board identified and approved reducing sepsis in Ohio hospitals to be one of the key focus areas for OHA and Ohio hospitals for 2015-2016.  In 2014, OHA facilitated a successful rapid cycle improvement initiative for sepsis through the Leading Edge Advanced Practice Topics (LEAPT) program.  In 2015, we will be building on lessons learned during the LEAPT program. 

At a recent Quality Summit, James O’Brien, VP for quality and patient safety at OhioHealth, was the keynote speaker.  Jim is a founder and chairman of the board of the Sepsis Alliance.  The program also featured a panel discussion of representatives from Ohio hospitals currently engaged in actively reducing sepsis and monitoring improved compliance with bundles of care.

You can view the proceedings here. The video provides an excellent summary of the issues faced in early recognition and intervention for sepsis, and beyond. It is an excellent primer for those wanting to understand more about this disease state, but it is also a sophisticated presentation for those in the field.

Jim notes that sepsis is the most common reason for death in ICUs.  A patient arriving with sepsis has ten times more likelihood of dying than one who presents with STEMI, a form of heart attack that garners a lot more attention.  Nonetheless, he asserts, "We have a great opportunity to change the natural history of this disease--not over our lifetimes--but over the next five years."

Jim has a way of describing the disease that makes it approachable to laypeople like me. He explains, "We have an army at our disposal to fight infections.  What happens with sepsis is that your body starts attacking itself.  You suffer friendly fire as a result of the infection that has started."

The value in this kind of explanation is that part of the OHA effort is in spreading public awareness about this threat. It therefore has to be set forth in terms that are understandable to the media and the general public.

I'll leave you to watch the rest of the video to the extent you would find it useful.  I, for one, am very impressed with the OHA's commitment to this issue and also by the presentations Jim and the others offer to the people of Ohio and beyond.

1 comment:

Carole said...

I found this very interesting, thank you Mr. Levy