Spring Valley Hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Sepsis Certification after undergoing a rigorous on-site review in August 2018. The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care.
Sepsis can be a life-threatening medical emergency, caused by the body’s excessive response to an infection. If not treated quickly and effectively, sepsis can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, amputation or death. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 178 Nevadans died from sepsis in 2016*. Nationally, sepsis accounted for over 200,000 annual deaths according to a July 2016 article in Critical Care Medicine.** The illness gained greater recognition when actress Patty Duke died in March 2016 from complications related to sepsis after her spleen ruptured.
Sepsis can be caused by bacterial infections – anything from a urinary tract infection to a nicked cuticle – but also by more serious diagnoses like pneumonia, kidney infections or bloodstream infections. “The infection generates the sepsis,” explained Leonard Freehof, CEO/Managing Director of Spring Valley Hospital. “The risk of death by sepsis increases when treatment is delayed, so much of our work focuses on the early recognition and treatment of sepsis in the emergency and inpatient settings.”
As part of the on-site review, The Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with consensus-based national standards; the effective use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care; and an organized approach to performance measurement and improvement activities.
Among the key initiatives in place at Spring Valley Hospital are ongoing education of the early recognition of sepsis in patient care settings and ongoing review of the key metrics associated with the early recognition of sepsis. These include rapid turn-around time on lactic acid levels that indicate the extent of the sepsis, early blood cultures to identify the infection source, and swift administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Quick identification and treatment of sepsis with antibiotics and intravenous (IV) fluids can save lives, decrease the severity of the illness, reduce the patients’ hospital length of stay, and increase the patients’ chances of going home instead of to an extended care facility.
To recognize the signs of sepsis, learn the TIME acronym:
T Temperature – Is higher or lower than normal
I Infection – May have signs or symptoms of an infection
M Mental Decline – Might be confused, sleepy or difficult to waken or rouse
E Extremely Ill – Severe pain, discomfort, “I feel like I might die.”
“We are proud to receive the Sepsis Certification from The Joint Commission, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation,” said Freehof. “The certification provides us with the framework to create a culture of excellence for those in our community.”