Today’s news:

North Shore-LIJ working to bring down sepsis deaths

The North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System is teaming up with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement for a 21-month-long partnership to reduce sepsis deaths in hospitals.

Sepsis is a toxic and life-threatening condition caused by the body’s overwhelming response to an infection or injury.

The health system said more than 25 percent of the 750,000 people affected by sepsis each year die from its complications — more than the death toll from prostate cancer, breast cancer and AIDS combined.

One in four hospital deaths are due to sepsis and 1,400 people a day die from the condition.

North Shore-LIJ’s Feinstein Institute conducted a poll last year that found 60 percent of American adults are not familiar with the disease.

“Sepsis is one of the most vexing problems facing hospitals,” said Michael Dowling, North Shore-LIJ’s president and chief executive officer. “Considering that there are 750,000 new sepsis cases every year, the fact that this issue has gone under the radar for so long is unsettling. We need to talk about sepsis openly, educate our clinicians and the public and devote as many resources as we can muster to fix it. Having IHI as a partner in this campaign will both help increase awareness of the problem among [patients] and enhance our ability to educate clinicians on how to prevent, diagnose and treat it.”

The partnership includes synergy between IHI and the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, which is opening in August.

The first class of medical students will have access to online improvement courses that have been developed by the IHI Open School for Health Professions, an educational community.

The Hofstra medical school students will also launch an IHI Open School chapter at the new school.

Aside from sepsis prevention, North Shore-LIJ and IHI will be working together on improving hospice care and focusing on more support for family caregivers.

The health system said the partnership with IHI will help North Shore-LIJ “to develop greater improvement advisor capability and to identify and propose expert faculty for IHI programs and initiatives.”

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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