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Peninsula Home Care Engaged in Medical Community’s Push on Sepsis Education

Published on - August 7, 2019

SALISBURY, MD – Early identification of Sepsis takes place in the emergency room, and from there – the race is on. Urgent attention and rapid treatment are critical for survival as mortality from sepsis increases by as much as 8% for every hour that treatment is delayed.

“We are very aggressive with our Sepsis protocol,” said Dr. Christopher Snyder, Chief Medical Quality Officer, Peninsula Regional Health System. “Our multi-disciplinary team meets monthly to assess all cases and we can see that our early goal-directed therapy is providing significant benefits with respect to outcome in patients with severe sepsis or septic shock.”

Dr. Snyder added when a “high sepsis score” is identified in a patient they are immediately treated and considered in recovery within as little as six hours. The sooner the individual can receive antibiotics, the more likelihood for survival.

“This isn’t just here at PRMC, it is a nationwide push,” said Snyder.  “Hospitals across the country are being heavily scrutinized for the number of sepsis admissions they report. Medicare examines each diagnosis, looks to see if the patient improved and if there is an overall decrease in sepsis readmissions to each hospital.”

Sepsis is part of Peninsula Home Care’s ECIP (Episode of Care Improvement Program) partnership with PRMC and other healthcare groups in the community. As one of the conditions that sends patients back to the hospital, PHC is following the same disease process teaching as PRMC to track and trend patient results to provide better care, policies and processes in addition to identifying educational opportunities.

“Our goal is to develop educational materials to influence across the continuum of care that will benefit patients, caregivers and physicians,” said Nancy Bagwell, Peninsula Home Care, Vice President of Home Health Operations. “Sepsis is not easy to diagnose and not easy to recognize so we want to arm our patients with as much information as possible.”

Symptoms of Sepsis include:

S – Shivering, fever, or very cold

E – Extreme pain or general discomfort (“worst ever”)

P – Pale or discolored skin

S – Sleepy, difficult to rouse, confused

I – “I feel like I might die”

S – Shortness of breath

“We educate our patients and caregivers about the signs and symptoms of sepsis as it attacks several systems of the body, lungs, blood and kidneys,” said Juanita Davenport, Peninsula Home Care Clinical Manager Care Coordination. “Many of our patients already have weakened immune systems so we want to help them prevent sepsis from returning by staying hydrated, simply washing their hands after using the bathroom and prior to preparing meals and using their arm to cover their mouth when they cough. It’s the little things that make a big difference.”


About Peninsula Home Care

Providing skilled nursing, physical, occupational and speech therapy for more than 30 years, Peninsula Home Care ensures that all patients are involved in their plan of care and strives to give them every opportunity to maintain their independence in the home. The agency has served more than 39,000 patients in Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset counties in Maryland and Sussex and Kent counties in Delaware. In 2017, PHC and PHCN were designated as Preferred Home Care Provider by Peninsula Regional Medical Center and Nanticoke Health Services.

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