Detecting Sepsis Earlier


A predictive tool, POC Advisor, has been developed to support faster diagnosis and intervention of this dangerous condition.

Sepsis remains a difficult condition that needs timely therapeutic intervention in order to reduce mortality. In a large study, investigators reported a significant increase in the probability of death was associated with the delay in the number of hours antibiotics were first administered to inpatients. In fact, after adjusting for sepsis severity, ICU admission source and geographic region, inpatient mortality from the condition increased steadily after 1 hour of time to therapeutic intervention.1

“We found that many people that come in with sepsis delayed care,” Chief Medical Officer Kathy Hudson, MD, at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, said. “They may have an infection they are trying to doctor at home.” This delay can be problematic for clinicians as patients may already be close to sepsis.

Hudson’s Phoebe Putney Health System is using a monitoring tool, POC Advisor, to aid in detecting earlier the onset of sepsis which can then provide clinicians the opportunity to deliver interventions sooner in the process. The health system, which is a not-for-profit health system in southwest Georgia, is going to be using it at 3 hospital sites.

The monitoring tool analyzes data in real-time, accounting for more than 4000 comorbidities. It contains evidence-based algorithms that can reduce false positives for conditions that mimic sepsis resulting in higher quality alerts that clinicians trust.

By analyzing a broad cross-section of Phoebe’s electronic health record (EHR) data, including clinical notes using natural language processing, the platform can identify patients at risk of sepsis much earlier than the EHR SIRS-based sepsis alerts.

At Phoebe, clinicians will receive alerts with evidence-based protocols at the point of care. The solution’s dashboards track quality performance metrics to reduce practice variation by identifying gaps in bundle compliance. Additionally, the alert response dashboard will provide a comprehensive view of Phoebe’s clinician actions to promote timely interventions, support continuous improvement, educate staff and increase standardization of sepsis response.

Contagion spoke to Hudson about the importance of identifying and treating sepsis earlier and how they plan to incorporate the POC Advisor into their health system.


1. Ferrer R, Martin-Loeches I, Phillips G, et al. Empiric antibiotic treatment reduces mortality in severe sepsis and septic shock from the first hour: results from a guideline-based performance improvement program. Crit Care Med. 2014;42(8):1749-1755. doi:10.1097/CCM.0000000000000330

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