Death rates from sepsis fell faster in New York than expected — and faster than in peer states — following the introduction of the nation’s first state-mandated sepsis regulation, according to an analysis led by University of Pittsburgh researchers and published today in JAMA. The policy requires all New York hospitals to quickly implement certain protocols when the deadly condition is suspected.
The finding is good news for the nearly dozen other states in varying stages of adopting similar policies to reduce deaths from sepsis, the leading cause of death in hospitalized patients. Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs.
“Rarely in the U.S. do we force hospitals to implement specific clinical protocols. Typically, quality improvement is achieved through financial incentives and public reporting,” said lead author Jeremy Kahn, M.D., M.S., professor in the Department of Critical Care Medicine at Pitt’s School of Medicine and the Department of Health Policy and Management at Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health. “For the first time, state officials are enshrining in regulations that hospitals must follow certain evidence-based protocols when it comes to sepsis. And our study finds that, at least in New York, it seemed to work.”…
Financial incentives of the hospital include prolonging the stay and fostering more severe illness. But if the latter results in death then long term medical and pharmaceutical earnings (and state tax earnings) are impacted.
Yet another embarrassment for the medical establishment. Will its teflon coat ever wear down?