Cone Health invests in resources to combat septic shock

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Over the last two years, Cone Health has invested in more resources to make sure patients don’t go into septic shock.

The health system is addressing the issue by ensuring that teams are at the bedside and beyond.

“Sepsis is the number one cause of death in the hospital,” Pam Smith said.

Smith is the sepsis coordinator system-wide at Cone Health. She manages Cone Health’s eLink center also known as virtual ICU.

Within this center, nurses are monitoring code sepsis in real time throughout Cone Health’s campuses, not just at one location.

This monitoring happens in conjunction with the bedside care that comes from doctors and nurses.

“The better monitoring we can do, the sooner we would know that someone is not responding to therapy and we can provide the higher level of care they might need,” emergency physician Dr. Ankit Nanavati said.

Sepsis is a severe infection that leads to an inflammatory reaction in the body.

The symptoms can be similar to influenza, which is why accurate monitoring is crucial for medical teams.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published information highlighting how sepsis affects adults in America.

A previous report showed that one in three patients who die in the hospital has sepsis.

In 2017, Cone Health began using eLink specifically for sepsis monitoring – an approach Cone Health says is unique compared to other hospital systems in this region.

The results have shown that with eLink monitoring for code sepsis, there’s been a 24 percent reduction in the risk of death.

“We also saw a similar reduction in readmission rates, so these patients that are monitored by eLink, compared to those who are not, they're not coming back,” said Monica Schmidt, senior data scientist at Cone Health.

Schmidt’s father passed away from his second episode of sepsis in 2016.

She expressed being inspired by her colleagues as they work toward getting these kinds of positive results.

Cone Health hopes to share its eLink data as it relates to sepsis monitoring at an upcoming medical conference.

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