Sepsis—a complication from either a bacterial or viral infection—is a life-threatening medical emergency that can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and even death. In fact, according to the CDC, in the United States, one in three patients who die while in the hospital die from sepsis. That’s roughly 270,000 Americans per year.*
At both Elliot Health System and Southern New Hampshire Health, who together make up SolutionHealth, the goal is to identify sepsis as early as possible and quickly begin treatment to stop it in its tracks.
At Southern New Hampshire Health, nurses in the ICU and other inpatient units have developed a system within their electronic medical record to look for signs of sepsis and quickly put a treatment plan into action in collaboration with their physician colleagues. At The Elliot, a sepsis bundle in the Epic electronic medical record has been used in the Emergency Department to identify sepsis.
With the adoption of Epic at Southern New Hampshire Health, the two hospitals are now on the same electronic medical record. For caregivers focused on sepsis at both institutions, the opportunity is here to collaborate across both campuses to evaluate best practices and establish a new system-wide sepsis identification protocol within Epic to further improve patient outcomes.
The SolutionHealth Sepsis Committee includes physicians, as well as representatives from nursing, quality, pharmacy, the laboratory, and IT. “A multidisciplinary team came together to discuss best practices around caring for our patients who are septic or showing signs and symptoms of sepsis,” explains Amy Staly, RN, BSN, Chief Nursing Information Officer at Southern New Hampshire Health. “The overall goal was to work as one as a SolutionHealth Sepsis Committee and discuss options for implementing similar workflows and logic in Epic based on what has been in place within Southern New Hampshire Health’s old electronic medical record and use it across SolutionHealth. It’s an opportunity to collaborate and to learn from each other as we evaluate workflows at each campus and come together to implement SolutionHealth-level best practices.”
Steve Loosigian, DO, as Director of the Hospitalist Program at Elliot Health System, recently took on the challenge of sepsis at The Elliot and was eager to join the SolutionHealth Sepsis Committee. “We are much stronger when we work together. I see the work we are doing around sepsis at the system level as just the beginning. There is so much opportunity to collaborate and share best practices, all with the aim of providing the very best possible care to our patients across southern New Hampshire,” says Dr. Loosigian. “I am so thankful to our nursing colleagues who are embracing this work. Their skills and their desire to engage in this process will no doubt save lives.”