We all know our residents are at a higher risk for sepsis due to compromised immune systems and comorbidities, but what if we could prevent even one case of sepsis? Recently, 10 post-acute care independent facilities in New York state initiated a sepsis quality improvement program with amazing results! Overall, sepsis hospitalizations in this group decreased by 22.8% with a medical cost savings of $1,039,6662-$3,188,430!
Sure, it can’t work here, right? Of course it can! That said, the key that could possibly challenge many of us was the active involvement of the Medical Director at each center. These physicians had to come to an agreement on the definition of sepsis as a suspected or proven infection based on elevated body temperature and white blood cell counts greater than 12,000. We all know that our docs are great but getting them all on the same page could be a challenge!
The other key to the success of this study (I believe) was the use of INTERACT. The group selected nurses for “Train the Trainer” sessions on the INTERACT program and gave them the title “INTERACT Certified Champions”. These “Champions” assisted in implementing and sustaining the INTERACT quality improvement program and were hugely successful. At the end of the day, we do not have to recreate the wheel, we need to use the tools currently in our reach. Imagine, improving resident outcomes by using something that has been right under our noses all along! Stay well, stay informed, and stay tuned!