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Posted on 03 Aug 2018
Innovation and improvement

Since launching in February 2018, 369 patient diagnosed with sepsis have received improved recognition and care through a new clinical pathway.

The ‘Think sepsis: Act fast’ scaling collaboration is helping health services to better diagnose and treat patients with sepsis. The project is funded through the Better Care Victoria innovation fund and has been adapted and scaled from a sepsis pathway developed at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and implemented at Melbourne Health in 2016.

"Our hospitals do very good things but their achievements tend to stay in the one hospital," said Dr Douglas Travis, Chair of the Better Care Victoria Board.

"The aim of the Better Care Victoria innovation fund is to take good ideas and spread them to other places in Victoria so that the whole of the population can benefit from the good ideas that are generated in our public and private hospitals."

The project will be scaled statewide to 11 health services across Victoria.

The pathway is a six-hour care bundle that focuses on six key actions to be taken in the 60 minutes following sepsis recognition. These actions include: oxygen administration; taking of two sets of blood cultures; testing of venous blood lactate levels; administration of rapid fluid resuscitation and appropriate antibiotic treatment and continued monitoring.

In addition to the sepsis pathway, a multidisciplinary education package is ensuring the success of the initiative. Since the initiative began 2,412 clinicians have received sepsis education across the state. The training is key to avoiding any variation or inconsistency in the delivery of care. The sepsis project teams are targeting all clinical staff to ensure a coordinated approach to the recognition and management of sepsis.

What’s next?

Feedback will be collected throughout the pilot phase, and the teams will undertake 'plan, do, study, act' cycles to ensure continuous, rapid improvement.

To help guide the project a number of workshops have been held across Victoria, bringing together participating health services to share learnings and tackle challenges.

Health services, including Alfred Health, Eastern Health, Peninsula Health, Western Health and the Royal Melbourne Hospital, are also discussing the unique challenges associated with integrating sepsis alerts into electronic medical records.

Health services participating in the collaboration:

  • Albury-Wodonga Health
  • Alfred Health
  • Beechworth Health
  • Corryong Health
  • Yarrawonga Health
  • Bendigo Health
  • Ballarat Health
  • Barwon Health
  • Eastern Health
  • Northeast Helath Wangaratta
  • Peninsula Health
  • South West Healthcare
  • Swan Hill Health
  • West Gippsland Healthcare
  • Western Health.

Page last updated: 20 Dec 2018