Study: Automated, Real-Time Surveillance Significantly Reduced Sepsis Mortality | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Study: Automated, Real-Time Surveillance Significantly Reduced Sepsis Mortality

May 25, 2016
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

Automated surveillance and real-time analysis led to a significant reduction in sepsis mortality at Alabama’s Huntsville Hospital, according to research recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA).

A study by researchers Sharad Manaktala, M.D., Ph.D., and others examines how clinicians at Alabama’s Huntsville Hospital decreased sepsis-related deaths by 53 percent during a 10-month period using a combination of clinical change management and electronic alerting from POC Advisor, clinical decision support (CDS) software from Philadelphia-based Wolters Kluwer’s health division.

The system’s alerts detect sepsis early and helps guide clinicians to deliver the appropriate treatment, resulting in “a breakthrough in alert accuracy, reaching 95 percent sensitivity and 82 percent specificity during the study period,” according to officials.

Sepsis is the deadliest condition treated in hospital critical care units, claiming approximately 750,000 lives in U.S. hospitals every year. At an estimated $20 billion annually, it is also the country’s most expensive condition to treat. The risk of death increases significantly every hour sepsis goes untreated, yet early diagnosis has long been a struggle because many other acute medical conditions cause similar signs and symptoms.

But by using an automated, real-time surveillance algorithm, POC Advisor aggregates, normalizes and analyzes patient data from disparate clinical systems and delivers early sepsis alerts and treatment advice to clinicians via mobile devices and portals. Hundreds of rules built into the platform account for variables specific to individual patients, including comorbidities and medication abnormalities, thereby maximizing the accuracy of alerts and advice, according to officials.

“There is no single test to identify sepsis; it requires a clinical diagnosis. Delays in diagnosis are very common, resulting in delays in treatment,” said study co-author Stephen Claypool, M.D. “Prior to this study, there hasn’t been a study of an electronic system that I’m aware of that has significantly improved mortality. That’s because most systems generate many false positive alerts, so they are ignored and outcomes are not improved. In this study, we used an electronic solution that takes into account existing patient co-morbidities and labs and adjusts the analysis on a patient-specific basis.”

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

ONC Roundup: Senior Leadership Changes Spark Questions

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has continued to experience changes within its upper leadership, leading some folks to again ponder what the health IT agency’s role will be moving forward.

Media Report: Walmart Hires Former Humana Executive to Run Health Unit

Reigniting speculation that Walmart and insurer Humana are exploring ways to forge a closer partnership, Walmart Inc. has hired a Humana veteran to run its health care business, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Value-Based Care Shift Has Halted, Study Finds

A new study of 451 physicians and health plan executives suggests that progress toward value-based care has stalled. In fact, it may have even taken a step backward over the past year, the research revealed.

Study: EHRs Tied with Lower Hospital Mortality, But Only After Systems Have Matured

Over the past decade, there has been significant national investment in electronic health record (EHR) systems at U.S. hospitals, which was expected to result in improved quality and efficiency of care. However, evidence linking EHR adoption to better care is mixed, according to medical researchers.

Nursing Notes Can Help Predict ICU Survival, Study Finds

Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario have found that sentiments in healthcare providers’ nursing notes can be good indicators of whether intensive care unit (ICU) patients will survive.

Health Catalyst Completes Acquisition of HIE Technology Company Medicity

Salt Lake City-based Health Catalyst, a data analytics company, has completed its acquisition of Medicity, a developer of health information exchange (HIE) technology, and the deal adds data exchange capabilities to Health Catalyst’s data, analytics and decision support solutions.