Nine Calif. Hospitals See Major Drop in Sepsis Mortality Rates
Nine hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area have seen significant reductions in mortality rates related to sepsis, a potentially fatal blood infection, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The nine medical centers recently finished a two-year sepsis reduction initiative developed by UC-San Francisco's Integrated Nurse Leadership Program. The nurse leadership program is funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
Results of Initiative
On Wednesday, the hospitals released their results during an event commemorating the end of the two-year UCSF program.
During the length of the program, the nine medical centers saw an average 40% decrease in death rates from sepsis.
During the six months before the program began in December 2008, the hospitals had an average sepsis mortality rate of 27.7%. By December 2010, the average sepsis mortality rate had dropped to 16.6%.
Possible Contributing Factors
The UCSF program provided hospitals with the ability to develop sepsis-reduction techniques tailored to their facility.
Many of the hospitals encouraged nurses to screen patients more thoroughly when they arrived at the emergency department. Some of the medical centers also allowed ED nurses to order lactate blood tests, which can identify sepsis.
Hospitals also educated their staff about sepsis and taught health workers how to identify and screen patients at risk of developing the infection.
Susan Ehrlich -- CEO of San Mateo Medical Center, which participated in the UCSF program -- said, "The key issue here, in addition to having standardized workflow and screening, is really about educating the medical staff."
The hospitals that participated in the UCSF program are:
- Alameda County Medical Center, Oakland;
- Contra Costa County Medical Center, Martinez;
- El Camino Hospital, Mountain View;
- Kaiser Permanente Fremont Medical Center;
- Kaiser Permanente Hayward Medical Center;
- St. Rose Hospital, Hayward;
- San Francisco General Hospital;
- San Mateo Medical Center; and
- Sequoia Hospital, Redwood City (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/21).