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Middlesex Hospital

Middlesex Hospital reduces sepsis mortality rate by 25 percent using St. John Sepsis agent

Since going live with Cerner’s St. John Sepsis agent in February 2014, the average annual sepsis mortality rate at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, Conn. dropped from 7.5 percent in 2013 to 5.6 percent in 2014.

Sepsis occurs when the body reacts negatively to infection, leading it to injure its own tissues and organs. This life-threatening condition — often thought to be acquired in the community or hospitals themselves — impacts millions of people each year worldwide. Those most likely to be affected are people with already weakened immune systems and very young or old patients.

According to Connecticut Hospital Association, Middlesex’s sepsis mortality rates were consistently below Connecticut state mean (13.4 percent) before implementation, yet hospital officials secured the tool in order to prevent as many sepsis cases as possible.

“The results have been quite good,” said Vice President, Quality and Safety Dr. Jesse Wagner. “We had a decrease in mortality — which is the biggest thing — from sepsis. We already had a low rate, but we actually dropped the rate by about 25 percent more.”

The St. John Sepsis agent, an electronic early warning system (EWS), uses an algorithm that monitors patients’ symptoms in key areas and alerts clinicians as soon as a combination that may result in sepsis appears. Using this solution allows for the early identification and treatment of sepsis, which improves care.

Previously, Middlesex physicians and nurses monitored patients for symptoms of sepsis; this did not provide timely and accurate data measurement and analysis capabilities like the Cerner St. John Sepsis agent does.

“Readmission rate for people who had sepsis went down,” said Dr. Wagner. “Length of stay in the hospital for people who had sepsis was shorter. The overall hospital mortality rate went down. And then when people had a Rapid Response Team, we found that it was less frequent that they needed to be transferred to a higher level of care because they were getting identified earlier.”

Middlesex Hospital received the Connecticut Hospital Association John D. Thompson Award for Excellence in the Delivery of Healthcare through the Use of Data.

“My hat’s off to all of the people at the organization that really worked hard to make this happen,” said President/CEO Vincent G. Capece. “Our patients and our community are the people that really benefit from it, and it’s great to see, and it’s great to be part of that.”

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Client outcomes were achieved in respective settings and are not representative of benefits realized by all clients due to many variables, including solution scope, client capabilities and business and implementation models.