30,000 Canadians are hospitalized each year because of sepsis. More than 30% of these patients will die. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, around 15% of viral pneumonia hospital cases have been associated with secondary bacterial pathogens, and 50% of patients died.1 These statistics were unacceptable for a group of passionate clinicians in British Columbia working to catch sepsis early and treat it effectively to reduce mortality and morbidity.
BC Sepsis Network
In 2012, we created the BC Sepsis Network to connect physicians and nurses in every emergency department in the province who could champion sepsis improvement locally.
We used principles of large-scale change and distributed leadership to provide a mechanism for sharing, learning and accelerating their work, with an aim of reducing morbidity and mortality associated with sepsis. There are now more than 300 members who work in 36 hospitals and come together to focus on identifying and treating new infections early, preventing sepsis from developing as well as treating sepsis and septic shock.
981 Sepsis Cases & 172 Deaths Prevented, $50.6 Million Saved
Almost a decade ago, we created the BC Sepsis Network to bring clinicians together to share expertise and resources as well as lead local efforts to improve care for sepsis. Its since grown to more than 300 members who work in 36 hospitals, and a new study estimates our significant impact on the quality of sepsis care in BC over a recent five-year period.
Among their findings, the study’s authors estimate that our work to improve quality of care for sepsis prevented over 1,150 people from acquiring or dying from the disease from 2014-18. This led to a return on investment of over $51 million, including $17 million in in-hospital care savings and $31 million in follow-up care savings, meaning that every $1 invested into our organization to lead this work resulted in $112.50 in savings to the health care system.