Sepsis Mortality

At the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, we know that sepsis mortality can be reduced, even with scarce resources, with early detection, and the rapid initiation of appropriate treatment. The Center knows there are multiple barriers to consistent, successful implementation of treatment.

Project Team

All project teams used Robust Process Improvement® (RPI®) to identify causes and develop solutions to reduce sepsis mortality. RPI is a fact-based, systematic, and data-driven problem-solving methodology that incorporates tools and concepts from Lean Six Sigma and change management. The methodology and solutions were then tested, validated, and spread to other organizations through a pilot project with additional hospitals that did not have Lean Six Sigma expertise.

With the launch of our Reducing Sepsis Mortality project in June 2012, we set out to address those barriers with the help of these participating organizations:

Project Team
Atlantic Health System, New Jersey
Floyd Medical Center, Georgia
Kaiser Permanente, California
North Shore Long Island Jewish, New York
Texas Health Resources, Texas

Pilot Team
Chilton Medical Center, Atlantic Health System, New Jersey
Decatur Memorial Hospital, Illinois
Helen Keller Hospital, Alabama
Inova Alexandria Hospital, Inova Health System, Virginia
Inova Mount Vernon Hospital, Inova Health System, Virginia

Project Outcomes

For the five leading hospitals and health centers that participated on this project, the average baseline mortality rate was 16.44 percent. After root causes were analyzed and improvements were implemented, the improve mortality rate was 12.65 percent through December 2013. This change represents a 23 percent reduction in sepsis mortality. Between January and June 2014, the control phase of the project, organizations were able to show a sustained mortality rate of 12.83 percent through June 2014. The five pilot hospitals individually had similar or greater results than the original project cohort.

The results and solutions for this project are targeted for publication in 2019.

Additional Resources

The following additional resources are available for the Reducing Sepsis Mortality project: