Main Line Health System reduces sepsis mortality

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

April 28, 2015


In 2009, Main Line Health evaluated its safety culture and identified preventable risks or harms to patients and discovered that patient death from sepsis occurred at a higher than expected rate.Main Line Health, a five-hospital system located in the Philadelphia area, realized the need to improve communication among all of the healthcare staff, critical thinking, and accountability to reduce sepsis. Safety was made a core value that took precedence over all other issues.

The system created a three-tiered approach to accomplish its goal:

  1. Set clear expectations with the staff
  2. Provide education and training needed to meet those expectations
  3. Create and maintain accountability

Using this approach along with error-prevention tools put in place such as STAR (stop, think, act, review), SBAR (situation, background, assessment, and recommendation/request) communication, and other tools helped reduce the number of deaths from sepsis by more than 50% at four of Main Line Health’s five acute-care hospitals.

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