Parkridge Health System, an affiliate of HCA Healthcare, Wednesday announced the implementation of an automated, real-time system to more quickly identify patients with sepsis, allowing caregivers to intervene quickly. HCA Healthcare’s Sepsis Prediction and Optimization of Therapy, or SPOT, technology so far has been used to track more than 4,000 patients at Parkridge Medical Center and Parkridge East Hospital and, in conjunction with the use of evidence-based clinical interventions, has helped save an estimated 8,000 lives in the past five years across HCA Healthcare.
Sepsis is an infection that can lead to multiple organ failure, and approximately 270,000 Americans die from it each year, making it more deadly than breast cancer, prostate cancer, and AIDS combined, according to Sepsis Alliance. Additionally, it is the No. 1 cause of death in non-cardiac intensive care units and the 11th leading cause of death overall in the U.S. Because the symptoms of sepsis are similar to those of many other illnesses, diagnosing it can be very challenging; however, studies have shown with early recognition followed by aggressive treatment, patient survival can increase significantly because sepsis mortality increases by 4 to 7 percent every hour it goes undetected.
“SPOT is an algorithm and alert system that allows us to monitor clinical data each second of a patient’s hospitalization and identify the earliest signs of sepsis,” said Megan Mitchell, RN, market sepsis coordinator for Parkridge Health System. “This is a key tool for enhancing the safety of our patients by preventing a potentially life-threatening condition.”
Created by HCA Healthcare clinical and IT experts using data from millions of hospitalizations, SPOT continuously monitors vital signs, lab results, nursing reports and other data that can inform treatment, and sees the critical data points in patients’ electronic health records. HCA Healthcare’s SPOT links algorithmic sepsis detection with clinical workflow. It quickly alerts care teams of important and often subtle changes in a patient’s condition so they can take appropriate action, said officials.
HCA Healthcare data scientists fed computers millions of data points on which patients do and do not develop sepsis, training the machines to identify at-risk patients. When a data pattern indicating sepsis occurs, computers alert trained technicians who operate the SPOT command center to call a “SPOT alert” to the bedside RN, who evaluates the patient. Bedside nurses respond, evaluating the patient and immediately administering treatment if sepsis is not immediately ruled out.
“SPOT is game-changing technology for making healthcare safer,” said Timothy M. Grant, MD, MBA, chief medical officer of Parkridge Health. “Combining the clinical expertise and vigilance of bedside nurses with the computational power of our SPOT technology unites the traditional with the innovative, moving healthcare forward while maintaining the personal touch that remains so important in patient care.”
Parkridge Health is part of HCA Healthcare’s nationwide network of care and began using SPOT technology in 2018. Because HCA Healthcare’s SPOT algorithm was informed by vast data from 31 million annual patient care episodes, it is highly sensitive and extremely precise, said officials. It sees signs of potential sepsis humans cannot see while excluding instances when humans inaccurately suspect sepsis. HCA Healthcare’s national clinical data warehouse, which receives information from the electronic health record, is the heart of HCA’s data ecosystem, providing the ability to aggregate and analyze data streams in real time and feed tools like SPOT that, in turn, provide actionable information to caregivers.