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IN-DEPTH: SEPSIS


A new study shows the Trust’s digital sepsis alert is speeding up treatment and saving lives.


S


“Each week we would begin with a story about a patient told by a staff member after interviewing them,” Kate


epsis, also known as blood poisoning, is life threatening and accounts for an estimated 46,000 deaths in the UK each year. If diagnosed early it can be treated effectively


with antibiotics. But the difficulty lies in spotting sepsis before it develops, as symptoms such as breathlessness can often be mistaken for flu or a chest infection.


To help to address this persistent and dangerous challenge, clinicians introduced a sepsis alert and multidisciplinary care plan within the Trust’s digital patient record system in partnership with the provider Cerner. The alert monitors a range of changes in patients such as temperature, heart


rate and glucose levels. If these measures fall outside of the safe parameters, doctors and nurses are notified through a pop-up warning built into the Trust’s Cerner digital records system. The approach prompts clinical teams to take action fast. When the clinician diagnoses sepsis and updates their diagnosis on the patient’s record, a set of treatment recommendations pop up in the system. The clinician will review the options, select the most appropriate multidisciplinary care plan and ensure the patient starts treatment within one hour, in line with national targets.


MAKING A DIFFERENCE


Researchers at Imperial College London, have now shown that the alert and care plan is associated with lower odds of death, shorter hospital stays and increased odds of receiving timely treatment. Published in the Journal of the


Dr Kate Honeyford, Mark Gilchrist, Jenny Erisman and Albert Osei in the sepsis big room


SPEEDING UP


SEPSIS TREATMENT


10 /Trust www.imperial.nhs.uk


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