Maryland Nursing Homes to Target Sepsis Rates

October 19, 2015

A newly funded initiative is bringing together Maryland nursing homes, hospitals and healthcare organizations to reduce sepsis rates and improve outcomes for patients. In partnership with VHQC, the Maryland Patient Safety Center (MPSC) and the Maryland Hospital Association (MHA), 25 nursing homes will implement recent, evidence-based interventions to improve the early detection and treatment of sepsis and other infections among older adults in long-term care.

“We welcome the opportunity to join the Maryland healthcare community in stopping sepsis,” said VHQC President and CEO Donald A. Glozer, MHA, FACHE. “This work will improve the lives of nursing home residents, as well as contribute to the success of Maryland providers in meeting the all-payer model’s goals for reducing infections and other hospital-acquired conditions.”

The project builds on the MPSC’s successful Improving Sepsis Survival Collaborative, which aims to reduce sepsis mortality in hospitals. VHQC will identify the nursing homes generating the highest number of sepsis-related admissions to hospitals that are participating in the MPSC sepsis collaborative. Those nursing homes will receive training, tools, data analyses and consultation from VHQC, and will be able to learn from the best practices of their industry peers. Additionally, MPSC, MHA and VHQC will together create opportunities for dialogue and collaboration between Maryland hospitals and nursing homes that share sepsis reduction goals.

“The safety of patients is paramount for Maryland’s hospitals,” said Maryland Hospital Association President and CEO Carmela Coyle. “This collaborative represents another opportunity to build relationships across the health care continuum to better care for the people and communities entrusted to us.”

More than a million Americans are diagnosed with sepsis every year. A syndrome in which an infection leads to systemic inflammation that damages organs and is hard to reverse, sepsis kills 25 to 50 percent of the patients it affects. Sepsis is also the leading cause of hospital admissions from U.S. nursing homes, compromising the health of frail older adults and leading to higher healthcare spending that could be avoided with earlier detection and treatment.

Funding for this two-year special innovation project, which totals $347,000, was provided to VHQC by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). VHQC is CMS’ Medicare Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization for Maryland and Virginia. Its improvement initiatives convene healthcare providers, patients and families, and stakeholder organizations for sustainable change that results in better care, healthier people and smarter healthcare spending.

About VHQC    
For more than 30 years, VHQC has been leading the way to better health care for providers and other clients by offering expertise in quality improvement, utilization management, analytic services and health information technology support that improves patient outcomes — and often results in cost savings. In addition to its role as the Maryland and Virginia QIN-QIO, VHQC is the Health IT Regional Extension Center for Virginia and leads the Virginia Practice Transformation Network.

About the Maryland Patient Safety Center  
The Maryland Patient Safety Center is recognized as a national leader in patient safety. As a Center of patient safety innovations, MPSC convenes providers of care to accelerate our understanding and implement evidence-based solutions for preventing avoidable harm. To learn more, visit the MSPC website.

About the Maryland Hospital Association
MHA is the advocate for Maryland’s hospitals, health systems, communities, and patients before legislative and regulatory bodies. MHA’s membership is composed of community and teaching hospitals, health systems, specialty hospitals, veterans’ hospitals, and long-term care facilities. For more information, visit

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