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How One Home Care Association is Taking on Sepsis

Home Health Care News (HHCN) reports on HCA’s grant to expand use of HCA’s first-in-the nation home care sepsis screening and intervention tool.

HHCN reports:

The Home Care Association of New York State (HCA-NYS) has been awarded a grant of nearly $150,000 to fight and prevent sepsis—one of the leading causes of hospitalization.

The grant comes from the the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth), and will provide training and implementation of HCA’s sepsis-intervention protocols with home care providers across New York State.

HCA is a state home care association representing approximately 400 home- and community-based providers, individuals and associate members. HCA-NYS was awarded the grant in October and has just begun rolling out training sessions across the state this month. The grant will fund training until October 2018.

Sepsis, which is an inflammatory reaction to an infection, is considered a public health crisis, killing more people than cancer and occurring more often than heart attacks. In New York, it’s actually the leading cause of hospital readmissions and is the single most expensive medical condition nationwide, according to HCA-NYS.

The vast majority of these cases—80%—occur in the community or in an individual’s home, not in the hospital.

“One of the areas of misunderstanding [of sepsis] is that it primarily is a hospital issue, in that patients contract sepsis by being in the hospital,” Roger Noyes, director of communications of HCA-NYS, told Home Health Care News. “Patients that have it go to the hospital,but they are also affected by sepsis from an infection that can often occur in the home or another setting.”

The grant aims to use a train-the-trainer approach to reach all 1,000 home care agencies in New York, so clinicians can learn HCA’s sepsis screening tool, which was developed over a two-year period. HCA will also conduct conferences and webinars and offer technical support throughout the project.

A big piece of the project involves data collection, which HCA will pool to inform a final report on the screening tool, patient outcomes and best practices for home care when dealing with sepsis. A project committee—which includes members such as Bill Dombi, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), is advising the initiative.