Download our Case Study on How Avera Health Achieved 45% Mortality Rate Reduction With Sepsis Screening 


About: Avera Health is an integrated health system comprised of 33 hospitals with more than 330 locations throughout South Dakota and four surrounding states. The organization manages approximately 2.4 million visits per year.

The Need For MEDITECH: Supported by business and clinical intelligence data, Avera Health identified sepsis as the number one opportunity for care improvement and cost reduction across their system. Soon after, the organization defined a system‐wide goal to reduce sepsis mortality by collaborating with multiple disciplines, providers, and facilities throughout the Avera system to implement a standardized sepsis toolkit in MEDITECH.

A key focus of the project was ensuring that the screening and treatment protocol could be used universally across the system, ensuring the Avera brand promise of providing consistent standardized care at all Avera hospitals.

Execution: To promote effective standards, Avera embedded the following elements into the nursing and physician workflow:  

  • Nurse-driven screening protocol to identify sepsis patients early
  • Evidence-based physician order sets to provide immediate treatment
  • A centralized EHR Sepsis panel, displaying sepsis-related data in flowsheet format
  • Tools to monitor compliance and effectiveness.

By implementing these processes and raising sepsis awareness through their ‘Seeing Sepsis’ campaign, Avera Health improved their recognition and response time to sepsis cases, enabling immediate treatment and desirable outcomes.

Results: With its nurse‐driven sepsis screening assessments and physician order set bundles, Avera Health is using MEDITECH's integrated Expanse EHR to save lives by quickly identifying patients at risk for sepsis and initiating immediate, evidence‐based diagnostics and treatments. As a result, the organization has managed to significantly streamline workflows, reduce costs, and improve patient outcomes.

Avera’s new sepsis detection protocols have resulted in:

  • 45% reduction in mortality rate due to sepsis screening
  • $10 million cost savings based on a $5,080 decrease in cost per case
  • Readmission rate reduction from 12.9% to 10.3% for sepsis patients and observed-to-expected (O/E) ratio reduction from .70 to just above .60 — exceeding top performers in the nation.

“Rarely does a clinical tool touch every patient, but 100% of our patients are now screened for sepsis. We’ve seen a dramatic improvement in both mortality and morbidity related to sepsis care.”

-Dr. Jennifer McKay, MD, MIO, Avera Health

Download our full case study to learn more about Avera’s sepsis prevention program.