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Sepsis Survival Rates, Costs Vary Greatly by Hospital

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 3, 2011

Also still unclear is how lower-spending hospitals achieve higher survival rates.  One possibility is that these hospitals and health systems integrate inpatient and outpatient care effectively, such as the Mayo Clinic, they wrote

"In a similar way hospitals that are better able to standardize and coordinate the care of patients with sepsis may perform fewer procedures and diagnostic tests, mandate use of the most cost-effective therapies, and minimize the time patients spend in the ICU, resulting in lower costs without adversely affecting patient outcomes."

The report has several limitations, the authors acknowledged. For example, the statistics were drawn from claims data from hospitals that volunteered their data to Premier Healthcare Informatics for the purpose of quality improvement, and may be subject to biases in variation of coding and documentation procedures.

Also, patients diagnosed with sepsis were included if they had ICD-9-CM codes, blood cultures, and treatment with antibiotics, which may exclude some patients who did not undergo blood cultures.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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