Driving Change: Combatting Sepsis

Posted on December 05, 2019

Michigan hospitals and the Great Lakes Partners for Patients (GLPP) Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN) are working to combat sepsis. Driving Change is a monthly feature that highlights this work and provides resources to guide improvement.


Driving ChangeEach year, 1.7 million people in the U.S. get sepsis. It is currently the leading cause of mortality in U.S. hospitals, with 270,000 reported deaths annually. That’s more than prostate cancer, breast cancer and AIDS, combined.

Research shows that timely treatment is key to combatting sepsis. In fact, sepsis mortality increases by as much as 8% for every hour of delay in treatment.

Sepsis is also the leading cause of hospital readmissions – 19% of patients with sepsis are re-hospitalized within 30 days. It’s also the leading cost of hospitalization in the United States, with $27 billion spent annually.

According to the Journal of Infection, the average hospitalwide cost of sepsis per patient was $32,421 and the intensive care unit cost of sepsis per patient was $27,461 between Jan. 2005 and June 2015.

Due to the severity of the issue, the MHA Keystone Center, in conjunction with the GLPP HIIN, has worked to tackle the topic, specifically focusing on the identification and treatment of sepsis and ways to prevent readmissions. To accomplish this, the MHA Keystone Center has concentrated on education, ranging from hands-on simulations to site visits to webinars.

What Has the MHA Keystone Center and its Member Hospitals Done to Address Sepsis?

Over the past two years, the MHA Keystone Center has offered specialized member training and sepsis simulations to Michigan hospitals to work in real-life scenarios to identify and treat patients who are septic. 

Since 2017, more than 10 sepsis simulations and nine site visits have been performed and facilitated by subject matter experts Pat Posa, RN, BSN, MSA and Emily McKinney, RN, BSN. Preliminary data shows that 60% of hospitals who participated in a simulation or site visit are seeing improvement in sepsis mortality. The reduction of sepsis mortality continues to be a focus for the GLPP HIIN and its participating hospitals.

The MHA Keystone Center teamed up with Vlasic & Roth to create sepsis resources for MHA-member hospitals and health systems. The resources are available on the MHA Community site, and are designed to help organizations with metrics and accountability; sepsis bundle implementation; early screening and organizational support.

Additional sepsis resources, such as starter packs, toolkits, strategies, and more, are available on the MHA Community site. Members with questions should contact the MHA Keystone Center.


  • Driving Change: Combatting Sepsis

Tags: MHA Keystone Center, sepsis, GLPP HIIN, Vlasic and Roth

Posted in: Member News, Patient Safety and Quality

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