Data-driven research can detect sepsis sooner and save lives

Rachel Hollar
(919) 277-1169

Data-driven research can detect sepsis sooner and save lives

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality lists sepsis—a medical condition caused by an overwhelming immune response to infection—as the most expensive condition treated in U.S. hospitals. It is also one of the most deadly, claiming the lives of more than 258,000 Americans each year, including boxing legend Muhammad Ali this spring.

This is due, in part, to difficulties in diagnosis and delayed treatment. Many septic patients are under-diagnosed at an early stage when aggressive treatment could still reverse the course of the infection. For every one hour delay in treatment of severe sepsis, there is 10 percent decrease in patient survival probability. No clinical consensus exists for how to operationalize a sepsis staging framework, and impact of treatment guidelines on the hospital system are not well understood.

Researchers at North Carolina State University’s Industrial and Systems Engineering Department are working to overcome these barriers by integrating electronic health records (EHR) and clinical expertise in major hospital systems, such as Mayo Clinic and Christiana Care Health System. These integrations aim to provide an evidence-based framework to diagnose and accurately risk-stratify patients within the sepsis spectrum, and develop and validate intervention policies that inform sepsis treatment decisions.

About NC State ISE:

NC State University’s Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering is among the top ranked programs in the country. The department brings together industry professionals and academic leaders across innovative and cutting edge curriculum and technology development, including regenerative medicine, health systems and 3D printing.

# # #