How Halifax Health combats sepsis: Surveillance, analytics, communications tech

The likelihood of death from sepsis increases by 8 percent for each hour that passes without treatment.
By Bill Siwicki
10:05 AM
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Florida health system Halifax Health is battling sepsis with surveillance information technology that is the result of the teaming of Wolters Kluwer Health and Vocera Communications.

The system links the real-time clinical surveillance and analytics of the POC Advisor platform from Wolters Kluwer Health with Vocera’s hands-free communications technology and mobile app. This, in turn, can accelerate the diagnosis of sepsis and the timely delivery of patient-specific advice to nurses and other clinical staff at the point of care, the companies said.

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“Time is the enemy when it comes to sepsis, with the likelihood of death increasing by 8 percent for each hour that passes without treatment,” said Ginny Kwong, MD, vice president and chief medical information officer at Halifax Health. “Complicating early diagnosis is the need to aggregate data scattered across multiple clinical systems before it can be analyzed, and the results communicated to the point of care in a meaningful way.”

POC Advisor and Vocera integrate into clinical workflows to overcome these obstacles, she said. The system quickly alerts clinicians to a potential sepsis case so they can make the proper diagnosis and begin appropriate life-saving treatment to patients at the earliest, most treatable stages, she said.

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Halifax Health’s goal in deploying the sepsis system was to build on the success of an internal campaign that resulted in a 33 percent improvement in mortality rates. Kwong said the health system chose to implement POC Advisor because of its scientifically proven results, published patient outcomes, and precision and timeliness.

On the communications side, the Vocera Badge is a hands-free, voice-controlled communication device that enables instant two-way and one-to-many conversations. It combines secure text messaging and alerting and enables voice calls with intelligent routing by name, role, group and availability.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com