A New Tool for an Old Fight: Using Electronic Surveillance and Alerts to Detect Sepsis

Historically, sepsis has been one of the most important medical conditions in the United States, yet it is not properly appreciated by many in terms of its real significance. Unlike heart disease and cancer, where most people at least generally know about the tremendous number of deaths and the financial impacts they create, sepsis is somewhat of a mystery to the general public.

According to the National Institute of General Medical Studies, sepsis strikes more than a million Americans every year and between 28 and 50 percent of these people die – far more than the number of U.S. deaths from prostate cancer, breast cancer and AIDS combined. While a great deal of improvement has been made in treating high-profile conditions in the last 10-15 years, sepsis is lagging behind in where it could and should be in terms of care. It costs billions of dollars to the healthcare industry, but by-and-large, care for sepsis in the United States is sub-par. 

To learn more about sepsis and its seemingly ambiguous presence within day-to-day healthcare environments, I spoke with Jim O'Brien, MD, MSc, Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety, Ohio Health Riverside Methodist Hospital, an 860-bed community teaching hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

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CDS, clinical decision support, Disease Management, electronic alarms, electronic surveillance, Huntsville Hospital, Ohio Health Riverside Methodist Hospital, POC Advisor, sepsis, Sepsis Alliance, Wolters Kluwer


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