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Solving for the Silent Killer:  Automating Early Identification of Sepsis Risk

· Kim Tucker,

sepsisAs we celebrate Healthcare Quality Week, I am excited to talk about how PatientSafe is helping our partner hospitals save lives by identifying sepsis risk automatically and early. Called the “silent killer”, sepsis is a $24-$50 billion dollar problem. Fifty percent of all deaths in hospitals are attributed to sepsis – a potentially fatal condition. To identify it, caregivers must pull labs, vitals and other data from multiple sources and use an algorithm to manually calculate whether a patient is becoming septic, is septic, or – worst case – is already in septic shock. While some EHR systems capture labs and vitals in one place, few, if any, provide an early warning based on set algorithms, and none deliver sepsis alerts directly to the mobile phones carried by the patient’s assigned care team. With sepsis, time is critical. The faster the care team can identify a septic patient, the greater the patient’s chance of survival.

PatientTouch solves the problem by automatically calculating sepsis risk and proactively alerting the care team early. With the PatientTouch Sepsis Alert, all the data required to determine sepsis is automatically compiled and run through the appropriate, set algorithm. If the calculation suggests the patient may be becoming septic, PatientTouch sends an immediate alert to the nurse on his smartphone, including the patient data needed to make the appropriate care decisions. To further speed the process, the nurse can then contact the appropriate care team members directly from within the PatientTouch app. The secure communication automatically includes the patient’s clinical information for more efficient, safe decision making. No time is wasted determining who is on call, finding the right phone numbers, identifying the correct patient or locating and then sending that patient’s relevant clinical information. With PatientTouch, just two steps can close the critical communication loop.

Of course, there is no substitute for a clinician’s judgment, experience, and expertise. But PatientTouch Sepsis Alert provides a safety net and the ability to act quickly when it counts. It’s an important new tool to help improve quality of care. Our partner hospitals using it are extremely excited about how PatientTouch can help them fight and avoid sepsis mortality.

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