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YNHCH's sepsis-prevention efforts yield success

In fall 2016, Yale New Haven Children's Hospital joined a nationwide collaborative aimed at detecting and treating sepsis early to prevent the immediate and long-term effects of the potentially deadly blood infection.

Less than a year later, the children's hospital had 34 cases in which sepsis was detected early and treated efficiently and effectively, said Rebecca Ciaburri, RN, performance manager, quality and safety.

On May 5, she presented an overview of sepsis-prevention efforts at YNHCH, part of the national Children's Hospital Association's Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes (IPSO) collaboration. The IPSO project at YNHCH includes physicians and staff from different areas, including the inpatient Pediatric units, Pediatric Emergency Department, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Hematology/Oncology, as well as Pharmacy, Information Technology Services and other departments.

Working together, they have developed training for frontline staff on sepsis prevention, and early detection and treatment when sepsis occurs. One key component of their work is a sepsis-trigger assessment tool in Epic that continuously pulls patients' vital signs and other data from the electronic medical record to calculate sepsis risk, then sends an alert to providers.

"We are excited about our success in improving outcomes for so many of our patients," said Matthew Grossman, MD, quality and safety officer, YNHCH. "However, we continually strive to do better, working toward our goal of preventing sepsis and other hospital-acquired infections altogether."