Harborview Medical Center was highlighted in an NPR article for its work on the early recognition of sepsis using automated alerts. Dr. David Carlbom, critical care pulmonologist and medical director of the sepsis program at Harborview, led the charge to develop a system that pulls information from the electronic health record to flag that a patient may have sepsis. The automated system looks for signs like high or low temperature, low blood pressure, high respiratory rate and/or high white blood cell counts.
If a pattern of these signs develops, there is a flag displayed in the electronic health record that prompts the nurse to assess the patient for symptoms of sepsis. If the nurse suspects sepsis, the provider is automatically paged out of the computer system. Harborview’s in-hospital sepsis mortality has fallen since the automated system was put into place in 2011. Read the full article. (Sue Bergmann)