Pharmacy OneSource Blog

Stopping Sepsis: The Power of Surveillance, Analytics and CDS

Posted on 04/30/15

Stopping-Sepsis

When patient information is layered with analytics, clinical decision support (CDS) and real-time surveillance, the result is the transformation of data and clinical content into actionable knowledge that can be used to impact mortality and outcomes through early detection and by directing the most appropriate care.

This is the focus of work underway in Wolters Kluwer’s Innovation Lab, where clinical, technological and informatics experts are seeking better ways to eliminate data silos and transform patient information and clinical content into knowledge that enhances clinical judgment and guides care decisions. 

The first solution to emerge from these efforts is POC Advisor™, a cloud-based point of care platform that addresses complex clinical challenges with the goal of improving clinical outcomes and lowering costs. 

The first application of POC Advisor is helping to reduce mortality and morbidity of sepsis, one of the most high-profile, deadly and undertreated diseases in healthcare today. The body’s inflammatory reaction to infection that spins out of control, sepsis can lead to organ failure and death—and does so approximately 270,000 times every year in the U.S. 

A significant contributor to the negative outcomes involving sepsis – often the result of delayed or improper diagnosis – is the siloing of crucial data in disparate clinical information systems. The inability of physicians to access and process the full picture of a patient’s condition forces them to make critical decisions based on fragmented evidence. 

By leveraging POC Advisor to aggregate patient data from the EMR and other hospital data sources for real-time tracking and identification of potential infection-related care issues and antimicrobial usage, this platform alerts care providers to potentially septic patients allowing clinicians to begin treatment long before the condition becomes life threatening.

It is a highly iterative process that is having the desired impact. A POC Advisor study at Huntsville Hospital resulted in a 53 percent reduction in hospital mortality among sepsis patients and about a 30 percent reduction in 30-day readmissions. There was also a downward trend in length of stay.

The implementation of this type of comprehensive IT platform holds significant potential for improving patient outcomes, hospital financials, and clinician performance. Though the current pilot focuses on the fight against sepsis, work is already under way within Innovation Lab to apply POC Advisor to MEWS (Modified Early Warning Score), and future applications are expected to include improving outcomes related to pneumonia, heart failure, diabetes, CLABSI (central line associated bloodstream infection) and CAUTI (catheter associated urinary tract infection).

Built on the Sentri7® surveillance infrastructure, POC Advisor uses patient data within the EHR to help detect escalating conditions early and pushes to clinicians patient-specific, evidence-based alerts with very high sensitivity/specificity via mobile and other devices. It integrates key functionality and clinical content from leading Wolters Kluwer products including UpToDate®; Lexicomp®; Medi-Span®; ProVation®, powered by Lippincott Nursing Solutions and UpToDate and the Health Language Engine®and adds change management to build and refine clinical protocols, educate on the latest evidence and treatments, and enable governance.

POC Advisor exemplifies Wolters Kluwer’s goal of providing an integrated suite of services designed to improve care. More importantly, it demonstrates how leveraging health IT to disseminate patient-specific, actionable clinical knowledge across the care continuum will result in higher quality treatment and improved outcomes.

infection prevention

Topics: Infection Prevention

About the Author

Tim McMenamin has more than 30 years of experience in the Hospital Information Technology (HIT) industry and has been an active member of HIMSS, ASHP, HFMA and other healthcare communities for many years. Leveraging emerging technologies to deliver clinical content to the point-of-care has been an area of special interest and research.