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HAP Achievement Awards Spotlight: St. Luke’s Allentown Campus

November 02, 2018

The Allentown Campus of St. Luke's University Health Network received HAP’s 2018 “Optimal Operations” Achievement Award for improving the early identification of patients at risk for sepsis and establishing a multidisciplinary framework to standardize their care. As a result of this work, adherence to practice protocols and guidelines increased 26.3 percent, putting the Allentown Campus’s performance in the top decile nationwide.

HAP Achievement Award

HAP Achievement Award

Sepsis is a growing problem due to aging populations, complex co-morbidities, and antibiotic resistance. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, 84,000 hospital admissions and 7,000 deaths each year are related to sepsis. How quickly sepsis patients are identified and treatment is begun play big roles in patients’ outcomes.

To address this issue, St. Luke’s Allentown convened an interdisciplinary team to develop:

  • A multidisciplinary, protocol-driven framework that guides clinicians to complete all the elements, or “bundle,” of sepsis treatment protocols as defined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Sepsis Core Measure
  • A screening process supported by predictive analytics to trigger the patient screening and identification needed to begin treatment quickly

With these new tools, the process of identifying sepsis patients and following evidence-based treatment protocols improved, both in timeliness and consistency. With the new framework:

  • The electronic medical record alerts clinicians via predictive analytic scores and best practice alerts to screen and identify septic patients, and place calls to telecommunications to initiate hospital-wide alerts. 
  • The alerts activate rapid response providers to bring additional resources to patients' bedsides and assist clinicians in following the protocols.

The success of the initiative was due in part to the extensive education provided for many different types of hospital staff and the coordination of procedures in many different hospital departments, including:

  • Emergency medicine staff and physicians
  • A wide spectrum of clinicians and clinical departments
  • Telecommunications and others

After implementing the new framework, 529 of 736 patients (72%) with severe sepsis or septic shock received all aspects of care as defined by the CMS Sepsis Core Measure. To date, only about ten percent of hospitals nationwide have achieved this high level of quality performance.

Congratulations to the Allentown Campus of St. Luke's University Health Network for receiving a 2018 HAP Achievement Award. Learn more about their efforts as well as the other 2018 award-winning program on HAP’s website. 

Questions about the HAP Achievement Awards may be directed to HAP Member Services at (717) 561-5359.

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