MEDITECH’s EHR Alerts Clinicians to Possible Sepsis

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A new white paper explains how MEDITECH’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) provides healthcare organizations with an “early warning detection system” that recognizes at-risk patients for sepsis and alerts the care team.

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With sepsis, time equals tissue - early recognition is paramount. MEDITECH's early warning system identifies septic patients immediately and initiates treatment sooner.

Sepsis contributes to nearly one in two hospital deaths, according to research recently published in JAMA. But, with MEDITECH’s Electronic Health Record (EHR), healthcare organizations have an “early warning detection system” that recognizes at-risk patients and alerts the care team, so providers can intervene sooner.

Evidence-based guidance, a sophisticated rules-based engine, and multidisciplinary notifications — reinforced with robust reporting capabilities that identify anyone in the larger patient population who is declining — enable healthcare organizations to drive quality care.

“With sepsis, time equals tissue,” says Bryan Bagdasian, MD, a physician informaticist at MEDITECH and a practicing hospitalist. “Early recognition is paramount; MEDITECH’s early warning system facilitates the Surviving Sepsis Campaign’s emphasis on identifying septic patients immediately and initiating treatment sooner."

Expedites Care Delivery
MEDITECH’s early warning detection system is embedded in clinical workflow. As nurses document their assessments, decision support capabilities continuously monitor patient information in the background. If the system determines a patient meets the criteria for potential sepsis, it immediately triggers an alert that directs the nurse to action, such as contacting the responsible physician, and displays on clinical trackers, physician status boards/rounding lists, and nursing status boards, eliminating communication delays among the care team. The physician enters the evidence-based sepsis order set in MEDITECH’s CPOE system, which is equipped with decision support tools and safety checks to reduce medication errors, variations in care practices, and the cost of care.

Using MEDITECH’s sophisticated rules-based engine, healthcare organizations are able to customize their sepsis identification algorithm as well as a message based on the severity of sepsis that displays to nurses, according to recommendations from their clinical governance committees.

“Physiologic evidence of sepsis is usually present upon the initial evaluation," adds Dr. Bagdasian. "However, in their typical domains, this evidence does not immediately convey sepsis. MEDITECH's EHR can aggregate those values, then visually alert and prompt the responsible provider staff to initiate the appropriate bundles for sepsis care.”

Supports Quality and Safety Initiatives
In addition to alerting care teams to potential sepsis, MEDITECH’s EHR provides quality management staff with a surveillance status board to monitor patients once they have been identified through the sepsis algorithm. Featuring easy-to-spot, color-coded indicators, these status boards can be tailored to meet organizations’ protocols, from displaying out-of-range values to listing the latest laboratory results.

Healthcare organizations can also surveil patients who have been flagged on the MEDITECH Early Warning Infection Report, which uses laboratory and nursing data to identify patients who are at high risk of progressing from infection to sepsis. Infection prevention and control management tools keep these patients at the forefront, prompting care teams to act quickly and prevent further deterioration. Healthcare organizations may also incorporate reminders (e.g., “Wash hands,” “Discontinue urinary catheter,” etc.) into workflow processes and interventions, ensuring staff follow evidence-based protocols to reduce the chance of infection.

MEDITECH’s early warning detection system — coupled with infection prevention and control management tools — lead to better outcomes, more efficient workflows, and reduced costs. A government study published in Archives of Surgery estimates the average hospital spends approximately $230,000 to treat postoperative sepsis in general surgery patients. Reducing the sepsis rate by just 10 percent would result in savings of $23,000.

Please email or call the MEDITECH contact listed on this press release to request a copy of our white paper MEDITECH’s EHR Alerts Clinicians to Possible Sepsis.

MEDITECH offers a fully integrated EHR servicing the needs of contemporary and progressive health care organizations. Our solutions encompass a patient-centered care focus across the ambulatory, acute, and post acute areas including home care, long-term care, and behavioral health.

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Paul Berthiaume
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