Expansion of a Community-Based Sepsis Prevention and Early Recognition Screening Tool
Special Projects Fund
September 19, 2017
Sepsis is an overwhelming, swift, debilitating, and deadly bodily response to infection.
In New York State, approximately 50,000 patients are diagnosed with severe sepsis or septic shock each year; of those, 30% of adults and 9% of children die in the hospital from sepsis. Additionally, it is the number one diagnosis for 30‐day all-cause readmissions for New York State hospitals. Although more than 80% of sepsis cases originate outside of the hospital, no home or community sepsis screening and intervention system had existed in the United States prior to 2015. Patients in home care are at particular risk for sepsis, and the condition often goes unnoticed until it becomes life-threatening. To address this issue, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services initiated in 2015 a large regional pilot of a sepsis screening tool in the Capital District and Central New York regions, which was subsequently endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2017, NYSHealth awarded Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) a grant to expand the screening tool to all home care agencies in the State.
Under this grant, HCA used a train-the-trainer approach for home care workers at all 1,000 home care agencies in the State to conduct sepsis screenings for the approximately 500,000 New Yorkers receiving home care. HCA assembled an advisory team of health system experts, clinicians, public advocates, and governmental partners to provide their expertise on clinician training and clinical collaboration. Educational and training materials were developed and regional on-site trainings for home care clinicians and agency leaders were held throughout the State. HCA also conducted conferences and webinars and offered technical support throughout the project. All home care agencies were required to submit data from screenings and interventions, which HCA used to inform a final report on the screening tool, patient outcomes, and best practices.