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Identify best practice protocols

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Improve processes of care transitions

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Increase public awareness of the signs

 Stop Sepsis Now

Community Based Sepsis

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  • Sepsis in the News
    • Albany, NY

      On October 3, 2018 health providers and community representing NYS: hospitals, home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities, physician practices, EMS, national patient advocacy organizations, NYS Office for the Aging  and community stakeholders convened for a first of its kind All-Sector Summit on Sepsis. The purpose of the summit was to bring together all sectors of healthcare to have critical conversations about a statewide call to action to address a serious public health concern: Sepsis.

      A link to the conference program can be found here.

      Special guest, Benita Zahn, Co-Anchor for WNYT, local NBC affiliate, addressed the conference. Benita’s coverage of the All-Sector Sepsis Summit on the evening news can be found here.

    • September 8, 2018; The Washington Post recognizes Sepsis Awareness Month (September) with the following article.
    • October 3, 2018: Sepsis Summit to Coordinate Response on Lethal Condition Claiming Quarter-Million U.S. Lives, Costing $27 Billion Annually
      ALBANY – HCA, IPRO, HANYS, the Rory Staunton Foundation for Sepsis Prevention, Sepsis Alliance, and nine additional partner organizations are holding a first-of-its-kind All-Sector Sepsis Summit for health care organizations and representatives on October 3 in Albany.Registration, a program agenda and additional information are here. Media are invited to learn more about the human toll and health care implications of sepsis. (Media announcements about the event are also appreciated.)

      The daylong program at the Albany Hilton includes top state health officials, physician experts, representatives of all health sectors, public policy and education partners, and quality and clinical experts. Its goal is to promote a true “continuum response” to sepsis, an emergency condition where collaboration and timing are critical to saving health, lives and catastrophic cost.

      According to Sepsis Alliance, sepsis is the leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals, resulting in more fatalities than prostate cancer, breast cancer and AIDS combined, claiming a life every two minutes and over a quarter-million U.S. lives each year. Sepsis also accounts for $27 billion in all hospital costs; but over 80 percent of all sepsis-related infections originate in the home and community, providing enormous opportunity for prevention.

      The October 3 Summit is supported in part from a New York State Health Foundation grant that has bolstered HCA’s effort to train home care providers to screen, identify and assist cases using HCA’s new sepsis tool in the home and community setting where nurses have contact with at-risk sepsis patients. This effort has been coordinated by HCA and IPRO, the Medicare Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization for NYS , over the past several months.

      New York hospitals have led the way in sepsis screening and identification efforts on the institutional side. In 2013, New York became the first state in the nation to implement evidence-based protocols for the early diagnosis and treatment of sepsis in hospitals, known as “Rory’s Regulations,” named for 12-year-old Rory Staunton who died of sepsis in April 2012 because a scrape during a regular gym class at his school was noticed but not treated.

      Both the home care screening tool created by HCA and the hospital protocols utilize consistent evidence-based criteria, and this summit provides a venue to reinforce this compatible approach to sepsis identification, protocols and treatment across the full range of health care services and insurance models, including home care, hospitals, EMS services, physician practices, nursing homes, managed care plans, and others.

      For more information, contact:

      Roger Noyes

      Home Care Association of New York State (HCA)

      (518) 810-0665 (office)

      (518) 275-6961 (cell)

    • July 2, 2018 : Sepsis Announcement from the CDCCall or Go Online to Get FREE Get Ahead of Sepsis
      Print Materials NowThere are now two ways to order FREE Get Ahead of Sepsis print materials: *
      1. Online: At select "Sepsis" from the Programs drop down menu and click "Search". Then select the materials you want.
      2. By Phone: Call 1-800-CDC-INFO

      CDC's Get Ahead of Sepsis print materials help patients, families, and healthcare professionals learn about ways to Get Ahead of Sepsis including:

      • Knowing the signs and symptoms of sepsis
      • Being alert and acting fast if sepsis is suspected
      • Preventing infections and staying healthy
      • Starting a conversation about sepsis during doctor’s appointments

      These materials are ideal for distribution at healthcare appointments, community health fairs, conferences, in patient discharge packets, or to use in talking with family members about sepsis.

      Remember, sepsis is a medical emergency. Improved recognition and timely treatment of sepsis increase your chances of survival and decrease the likelihood of long-term effects.

      Learn more about sepsis and how to prevent infections at

      Learn more about antibiotic prescribing and use at

      *Note: CDC's fulfillment house is able to process a limited number of orders each day. If you see that a particular material is temporarily unavailable, please try again another day. We apologize for any inconvenience.

      NOW AVAILABLE: Order free #GetAheadOfSepsis materials! Select "Sepsis" from the Programs drop down menu and click "Search" or call 1-800-CDC-INFO. Share these materials to help others know the risks, spot the signs and symptoms, and ACT FAST.

      The CDC has reached over 2 million subscribers. Thank you for your support.

      Update Subscriber Preferences or Unsubscribe | Learn about CDC Updates

    • May 7, 2018: A message from the CDC and the Rory Staunton Foundation
      Orlaith Staunton, co-founder of the Rory Staunton Foundation for Sepsis Prevention, and her daughter looked at each other in disbelief. They felt they were watching history repeat itself as a basketball coach bandaged a cut for one of his players, but without taking the precaution of cleaning the wound beforehand. That was the same scenario they believe led to sepsis and ultimately the death of Orlaith’s son Rory.In a new post on CDC's Safe Healthcare Blog, Orlaith explains the Rory Staunton Foundation's back to basics approach to prevent infections that could lead to sepsis. Since one of the back to basics principles is the importance of hand washing, this message is particularly timely as we mark World Hand Hygiene day on May 5. Read more about this family.
    • March 3, 2018: Listen to Al Cardillo, Executive VP of the Home Care Association of NYS and Sara Butterfield, RN, Senior Director, Health Care Quality Improvement at IPRO, discuss sepsis on WGY’s "Upstate Issues: Life-Threatening Sepsis" Sepsis in the News
    • Tools and Resources

World Sepsis Day – Wednesday, September 13, 2017

​Please join us in shining a light on sepsis and promoting sepsis awareness!

Please click on the following link for ​information to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from sepsis, produced by The Rory Staunton Foundation.

Sepsis is defined as whole-body inflammatory response to infection - for Medicare nationwide, septicemia is the principal discharge diagnosis, exceeding 700,000 hospital discharges a year, and is the costliest diagnosis condition, consuming 6.9% of Medicare payments annually.

Sepsis ranks number one for all-payer hospital discharges, exceeding one million discharges a year and representing 5.2% of all healthcare costs (AHRQ, 2011). For Medicare, septicemia (except in labor) is the principal discharge diagnosis exceeding 700,000 hospital discharges a year, and the costliest diagnosis condition, consuming 6.9% of all Medicare payments yearly (AHRQ). In both New York and South Carolina, sepsis is one of five top all-payer admission drivers; for Medicare beneficiaries, it is the number one driver of 30-day readmissions (21.3%). It also carries an inpatient hospitalization mortality rate of 14% in South Carolina and 17% in New York, which is three to four times greater than the all-diagnosis Medicare in-hospital mortality rate of 4.2%.

In an effort to increase rapid treatment responses to sepsis and to reduce sepsis mortalities in communities, Atlantic Quality Innovation Network (AQIN) members IPRO and the Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence (CCME) are undertaking a Community-Based Sepsis Initiative in NY and South Carolina to:

  • Facilitate education and build awareness of sepsis among pre-hospital providers and caregivers in contact with at-risk community dwelling Medicare beneficiaries. Those most at-risk include the elderly and those with weakened or compromised immune systems, chronic diseases, diabetes, cancer, AIDS, kidney or liver disease and recent physical traumas (NIH, 2015). Two thirds of individuals hospitalized for sepsis are over 65 years old (CDC, 2011).
  • Identify best practice protocols and educate pre-hospital providers on the recognition and importance of efficient referral to the next level of care for emergent care management using resources such as Guidelines for Management of Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock.
  • Improve processes of care transitions and care pathways with sepsis treatment between pre-hospital and hospital/emergency care setting providers.
  • Increase public awareness of the signs, symptoms, and contributing factors to sepsis through community outreach, public service announcements, and social media.

AQIN's Community Based Sepsis Initiative will utilize existing evidence based protocols and resources found in the Guidelines for Management of Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock: 2012 (, created by 68 international experts and supported by the Surviving Sepsis Campaign ( Screening, diagnosis, and management and treatment protocols are addressed as well as recommendations for specific populations (RP Dellinger et al, 2013). Resources, tools, and clinical training programs adapted from the Surviving Sepsis Campaign will be utilized for the expansive network of hospital and pre-hospital providers serving Medicare beneficiaries at risk for sepsis related mortality and morbidity within AQIN.

AQIN will leverage existing partnerships with national and state-based organizations whose interests are aligned with the project's, i.e., focused on addressing early identification and treatment of sepsis. Partner organizations such as the Sepsis Alliance, Home Care Association of New York State, the Rory Staunton Foundation and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) have made significant headway in their sepsis efforts.

AQIN shares CMS' commitment to achieve the National Quality Strategy (NQS) and the CMS Quality Strategy (CQS) that support the three-part aim of improving health, improving care, and lowering costs using innovative techniques. AQIN's proposed Community Based Sepsis Initiative aligns with the NQS and CQS goals as follows:

  • Making care safer by reducing harm. By educating and engaging pre-hospital providers and caregivers in contact with at-risk Medicare patients in the community on the signs and symptoms of sepsis, earlier recognition of sepsis will expedite the rapid response that is required to reduce harm and improve outcomes. (Mayo Clinic, 2015)
  • Strengthen person and family engagement. As the Community Based Sepsis Initiative performs pre-hospital outreach and education, it will provide opportunities for Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers, and sepsis survivors to participate in learning and sharing workshops. Participation will include, but not be limited to, education, focus groups, caregiving, and peer support.
  • Promote effective communication and coordination of care. AQIN will apply expertise in community organizing techniques, ensuring effective communication, collaboration, and cooperation, and partnerships that reach across cross-setting pre-hospital care platforms and touch all Medicare community providers: SNFs, HHCs, physician practices, community care givers, and community service providers.
  • Promote effective prevention and treatment for chronic care. Less than 10% of emergency responders have accurate sepsis knowledge (Baez AA et al, 2013). The Community Based Sepsis Initiative aims to better inform pre-hospital caregivers on the signs and symptoms of sepsis. Our targeted educational outreach efforts will help to inform community providers on the early onset of sepsis and expedite an earlier treatment response that will prevent severe sepsis or septic shock.
  • Work with communities to promote best practices of healthy living. As the Community Based Sepsis Initiative performs outreach and education, it will involve each specific audience (e.g., SNFs, HHCs, caregivers, etc.) and promote best practices, resources, and tools aligned with accepted sepsis guidelines.
  • Make care affordable. Sepsis-related care and readmissions are very costly to Medicare, exceeding over 20 billion dollars a year nationally. Increased community awareness and education on sepsis and its signs and symptoms will contribute to earlier recognition and treatments, thereby reducing complications, morbidities, and mortalities among Medicare patients. This, in turn, will reduce the need for costlier and longer hospitalizations, and readmissions.

For More Information on Sepsis:


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Contact Us

New York

Sara Butterfield, RN, BSN, CPHQ, CCM
Senior Director
Health Care Quality Improvement Program
20 Corporate Woods Boulevard
Albany, NY 12211-2370
Phone: (518) 426-3300 Ext.104
Direct Dial: (518) 320-3504
Fax: (518) 426-3418

Eve Bankert MT (ASCP)
Quality Improvement Specialist
20 Corporate Woods Boulevard
Albany, NY 12211
Phone: (518) 320-3552
Fax: (518) 426-3418

South Carolina

Sarah Stein Banyai, MPH
Quality Specialist
The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence (CCME)
12040 Regency Parkway, Suite 100 
Cary, NC 27518
Phone NC: (919) 461-5538
Phone SC: (803) 212-7521
Fax: (516)233-3358