Sepsis, the condition resulting from an intense immune response to an infection in the bloodstream, has been a challenge for healthcare organizations for quite some time. With high risk of mortality or serious harm, sepsis has been the focus of considerable innovation, intervention, and tracking, but the condition remains a serious threat to hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. For example, the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project reported that an average 4,600 new patients per day were treated for sepsis in the United States in 2009. Ultimately, the continuing negative impact of this illness results from the extreme difficulty of accurately predicting and preventing the condition. Those organizations that have seen the greatest success in reducing sepsis mortality and increasing the success of prevention are often the same organizations that have been refining their sepsis interventions for years.
One such organization, a large health system in Utah, began its sepsis prevention efforts in 2002. By overcoming a number of obstacles, refining its scope, and generally evolving its tracking and prevention processes, the organization has continued to improve to such a degree that it received the 2014 Sepsis Hero Award presented by the