to main content Center for Transforming Healthcare Launches New Reducing Sepsis Mortality Targeted Solutions Tool | Center for Transforming Healthcare

Center for Transforming Healthcare Launches New Reducing Sepsis Mortality Targeted Solutions Tool

Targeted Solutions Tool addresses one of the leading causes of death in hospitals and among COVID-19 patients Friday, September 11 2020

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Illinois (Sept. 9, 2020) – The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare is introducing its Reducing Sepsis Mortality Targeted Solutions Tool® (TST®), a web-based application to help providers reduce sepsis mortality and increase sepsis protocol compliance in pursuit of zero harm. Sepsis is a top cause of death in hospitalized patients that costs the health care system at least $41 billion each year. Early recognition and effective treatment of sepsis not only saves lives, but it also frees up scarce resources and dollars that hospitals need for staff or to rebuild services and infrastructure.

Sepsis, a severe reaction in response to an infection, was already among the leading causes of death for hospital patients in the United States when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020. In the United States alone, it typically affects 1.7 million patients every year, with about 270,000 of those cases resulting in death. The Global Sepsis Alliance has confirmed that COVID-19 can cause sepsis, and that signs of multiorgan injury typical in sepsis cases occur in approximately 2% to 5% of COVID-19 cases. Although it is still early in the pandemic and data is continuously being collected and analyzed, some studies indicate sepsis may be the second leading cause of death among COVID-19 patients.

“With sepsis, time is life,” said Barbara Ihnen-Carlson, quality nurse analyst for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at the Omaha VA Medical Center. “Our goal was to improve the sepsis care delivered to veterans, and the Sepsis TST cohort gave us the ability to identify and improve opportunities or barriers. Sepsis is a universal concern, and this intuitive tool will be a benefit to any organization.”

The Center’s release of the Reducing Sepsis Mortality TST follows a comprehensive quality improvement project that decreased mortality among the cohort by nearly 25% and a subsequent multihospital pilot that reduced mortality from nearly 20% to over 50%. In addition to the Sepsis TST, the Center offers other TSTs that help reduce injuries from falls, handoff communication failures and errors within the surgical process. When an organization has isolated its most significant causes of failure, it can then implement solutions that target the problem.

“The methods embedded in the sepsis TST are based on our robust quality improvement projects and informed by the experience of those participants to ensure it is a pragmatic and actionable tool for all health care providers,” said Anne Marie Benedicto, vice president and head of the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare. “It’s also a turnkey solution. Once introduced and implemented into a health care organization, hospital or health system, the TST will help the organization identify customized interventions to increase identification of sepsis patients and reduce sepsis mortality.”

The Reducing Sepsis Mortality TST is the latest solution the Center has developed since it began in 2010. To date, more than 1,300 organizations have used the TSTs to prevent harm and save lives.

For more information, visit the Center for Transforming Healthcare website at 


About the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare
Created in 2008 as a nonprofit affiliate of The Joint Commission, the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare creates products and services that promote and develop high reliability in health care, including the Targeted Solutions Tool for Hand Hygiene, Safe Surgery, Hand-off Communications, and Preventing Falls, and the Oro® 2.0 High Reliability Self-Assessment web-based tool. In addition, the Center partners directly with healthcare organizations to assist them in building systems and structures that support high reliability transformation. The Center also provides training and program building in Robust Process Improvement® – Lean Six Sigma and formal Change Management – that enables clinicians and healthcare workers to deliver higher quality, safer patient care as well as teaches and mentors leaders and staff as they create strong and vibrant safety and improvement cultures.