News: Mandatory hospital sepsis protocols save thousands of lives, data shows

CDI Strategies - Volume 16, Issue 17

The establishment of mandatory sepsis protocols at all hospitals in New York is estimated to have saved more than 16,000 lives between 2015 and 2019, according to the New York State Department of Health.

The mandatory sepsis protocols in New York were implemented in 2013 following the death of a 12-year-old boy from Queens, Rory Staunton, who succumbed to undiagnosed and untreated sepsis in a New York City hospital in 2012. The regulations requiring the sepsis protocols are known as Rory's Regulations, according to HealthLeaders.

The mandatory sepsis protocols are intended to improve rapid identification and treatment of sepsis. Rory's Regulations have five primary requirements for hospitals to adopt as sepsis protocols. According to the regulations, there must be:

  • A process for screening and early recognition of patients with sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock.
  • A process to identify and document patients for treatment with protocols for severe sepsis and septic shock.
  • Treatment guidelines, including early administration of antibiotics.
  • Training for healthcare providers to quickly recognize and treat sepsis in adults and children.
  • Reporting of sepsis-related data to the New York State Department of Health. The data is used to develop and evaluate risk-adjusted mortality rates.

The number of lives saved by Rory's Regulations was estimated by comparing the observed severe sepsis in-hospital deaths between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2019, to the expected number of deaths among severe sepsis cases during the same timeframe.

Editor’s note: A version of this article originally appeared in HealthLeaders. To read about an earlier study showing the efficacy of Rory’s Regulations, click here

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