Mortality rates among sepsis patients is lower in academic medical centers that have experience in caring for more patients with severe sepsis compared to those with lower volumes of sepsis patients, a new study conducted by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) reveals.
Additionally, the superior outcomes at high volume centers were achieved at similar costs compared to the lower volume medical centers.
Published online in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
, the study was led by Allan J. Walkey, MD, MSc, assistant professor of medicine, BUSM, and attending physician, pulmonary, critical care and allergy medicine, Boston Medical Center.
Analyzing data from academic hospitals across the country, provided by the University HealthSystem Consortium, the researchers identified 56,997 patients with severe sepsis who were admitted to 124 academic hospitals in 2011. The median length of stay for patients was 12.5 days and the median direct cost for each patient was $26,304.
Their data indicate that hospitals caring for more sepsis patients had a seven percent lower mortality rate than hospitals with lower volumes. The high volume medical centers had a 22 percent mortality rate while the lower volume hospitals had a 29 percent mortality rate.
"Given the lack of new drugs to treat severe sepsis, medical professionals must look at other ways to increase patient safety and positive outcomes, including the process of how we deliver care," said Walkey. "Our study results demonstrate that hospitals with more experience caring for patients with severe sepsis were able to achieve better outcomes than hospitals with less experience with sepsis, possibly due to better processes of care for patients with sepsis."