Reducing Sepsis Mortality with Data


The development of large amounts of data in the healthcare industry is causing many hospitals and health institutions to begin leveraging this information. Just last month, one institution, showed exactly how to leverage clinical systems data by tackling the No. 1 most expensive hospital condition, sepsis. This potentially fatal, whole-body inflammation is caused by severe infection, but can be stifled if an intervention is done early and appropriately. Penn Medicine's algorithmic early warning system did just that.

What we found most interesting - the physicians reported the task was straightforward because data was so readily available and highly reliable.  

The warning system resulted in earlier intervention, allowing sepsis mortality rates to fall 4 percent. Penn Medicine attributes this to improvements in clinical care measures. These measures led to a 10 percent increase in antibiotic administration rates and an 11 percent increase in IV fluid bolus.  Continuing to increase clinical care measures can only drive the mortality rates down further and data-driven decisions are the key.

After reviewing the success Penn Medicine had with the sepsis analytics initiative, health institutions across the nation should consider similar initiatives. Are there certain areas in your hospital that need to be evaluated? What would be long-term benefit(s) of adding predictive analytics in low performing areas? Lastly, and most importantly, is there an abundance of reliable data to create a straightforward, meaningful project?