Houston Methodist Hospital has made significant progress in reducing the sepsis death rate from 35 percent to 6 percent over the course of 15 years. This progress has been driven by the hospital’s unwavering commitment to sepsis care and constant education. The hospital has saved approximately 2,500 lives and over $50 million in cost avoidance through their efforts.
The journey to reducing sepsis at Houston Methodist began in 2008 when a sepsis committee was formed after data analysis revealed that sepsis was the leading cause of death within the system. Since then, the hospital has prioritized monthly data collection and established a multidisciplinary team dedicated to sepsis care. This team operates in the emergency room, on regular floors, and in the intensive care unit. Additionally, the hospital has implemented a critical care recovery clinic to prevent readmissions by following up with patients who have recovered from sepsis.
One of the main factors contributing to Houston Methodist’s success is having 15 years’ worth of monthly sepsis data. This data has allowed the hospital to continuously improve patient outcomes and maintain staff engagement. Showing the entire hospital staff the impact of their work on patient survival has helped to inspire commitment and dedication.
Education is also a crucial aspect of combating sepsis. Since there is no single symptom or test to detect sepsis, constant education is necessary to ensure that healthcare professionals can recognize and address the condition. Patient education is equally important, as sepsis is often overlooked in mainstream media and hospitals may not explicitly communicate a sepsis diagnosis to patients. Dr. Masud emphasizes the importance of seeking healthcare teams and asking the question, “Do I have sepsis?” after an infection that does not improve.
Sepsis remains a significant challenge within the healthcare system, with millions of cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. However, Houston Methodist’s progress demonstrates that reducing sepsis is possible with commitment and proactive measures. By prioritizing education, data analysis, and collaboration, other hospitals can strive to achieve similar success in the fight against sepsis.
– Information from Faisal Masud, MD, medical director of the center for critical care at Houston Methodist – Becker’s
– CDC survey of 5,221 hospitals