Leadership   |    Sepsis
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WFBH Uses Code Sepsis Initiative to Reduce Mortality Index by More Than Half

By Hannah Ostrem

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Though Pulsara was created to streamline acute care coordination and improve outcomes, it is key to remember that the Pulsara application is not a "magic bullet." Instead, Pulsara is one tool that should be used alongside refined, tested protocols which have as their goals to reduce time to treatment for all critical patients. Combined with such processes, Pulsara can help teams achieve industry-leading case times. 
 
One  example of a system that has successfully implemented such tactful protocols is Wake Forest Baptist Health (WFBH) in Winston-Salem, NC. A recent article illustrated how the facility seamlessly manages sepsis patients thanks to the hospital's Code Sepsis initiative, launched in 2013.
 
The article describes how one 50-year old patient's serious injuries from a vehicular accident caused symptoms such as increased oxygen consumption, high fever, elevated heart rate, and low blood pressure. And after his clinicians called a Code Sepsis, the care team worked quickly and seamlessly together -- in fact, from recognition of sepsis to antibiotic administration took just 19 minutes. 
 
Because sepsis and septic shock have a mortality rate of more than 25 percent, and every hour treatment is delayed, the risk of mortality significantly increases, acting quickly to administer antibiotics in septic patients can mean the difference between a full recovery and disability or death.

But WFBH wasn't always so efficient with their sepsis cases. In late 2011, the hospital's sepsis-related mortality index was twice the national average, with a mean time from arrival of a rapid response nurse to antibiotic administration of 6.6 hours. In response to these results, the hospital began working on creating a new protocol to get all patients treated within 60 minutes after sepsis is suspected.

The resulting Code Sepsis initiative involves a series of highly choreographed and organized steps and protocols to ensure all team members are on the same page and no patient waits longer than absolutely necessary to receive treatment.

The hospital eventually rolled out Code Sepsis to noncritical care areas, surgical ICUs, the emergency department, coronary care units and medical ICUs. The inter-disciplinary collaboration and adoption of the initiative resulted in the facility's sepsis-related mortality index dropping by more than half from 1.65 to 0.8, earning WFBH a spot among the 10 top-performing UHC institutions.

Wake Forest Baptist Health provides an excellent example of teams coming together to solve and improve care coordination problems in the name of better patient outcomes. Thanks for your leadership, WFBH!

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ARTICLE CATEGORIES: Leadership, Sepsis
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Hannah Ostrem

Hannah Ostrem

Hannah holds a Master's degree in Neuroscience and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, which she uses to analyze and interpret the peculiar behaviors of the rest of the Pulsara marketing team.

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