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Sepsis Risk Tool Dashboard (SRTD)

A digital dashboard to support clinicians in identifying patients at risk of sepsis. The tool is currently being piloted in Westmead Hospitals’ Emergency Department.

Person in hospital bed

The Challenge

Sepsis is frequently referred to as a silent killer as it is notoriously difficult to identify and diagnose. In Emergency Departments (EDs), patients are prioritised based on their condition assessment at triage. Due to the minor visible symptoms of sepsis, this puts them at risk of deteriorating before receiving medical care.

Nurses looking at computer monitor with the SEPSIS dashboard on screen.

The Plan

Sepsis continues to be one of the leading causes of death across the world. Peer reviewed research demonstrates a clear link between delays in delivery of treatment and the probability of death.  In Australia, the management of sepsis is being successfully addressed through the Clinical Excellence Commission’s SEPSIS KILLS program.

To complement the existing program, the Sepsis Risk Tool Dashboard is being piloted at Westmead Hospital in Sydney’s west. The dashboard helps clinicians assess a patient’s risk of sepsis while they are in the ED.

Using artificial intelligence (AI) and input from clinicians, the team was able to detect complex patterns in patients that had developed sepsis. The AI was embedded into an application to predict whether future patients are at risk of sepsis. The dashboard passes patient data from the eMR through an algorithm trained on historical information. It uses indicators including a patient's age, gender and vitals to predict their likelihood of developing sepsis while waiting in Emergency.

eHealth NSW developed the tool in collaboration with the Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC), Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD), Sydney Health Partners, the University of Sydney and NSW Health Pathology.

There are other sepsis detection algorithms, but none focus on the ED waiting room, which is where sepsis is most likely to remain undiscovered. This is what makes our tool unique and ensures that patients who are waiting for care are not missed or deteriorate.
Dr Amith Shetty, Senior Staff specialist, Westmead Hospital and Clinical Director, Patient Experience System Performance division, NSW Ministry of Health.
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The Outcome

The AI model for the Sepsis Risk Tool Dashboard was built using five years of deidentified medical data from patients presenting to Western Sydney Local Health District emergency departments.

A pilot is underway at Westmead Hospital’s ED.

Results should show an increase in the number of sepsis cases identified early, matched by a decrease in unnecessary deaths or re-admissions.

If successful, eHealth NSW will explore scaling the solution statewide.

Man in hospital bed

The Benefits

Helps clinicians detect, then treat sepsis patents in the emergency department waiting room sooner. This greatly reduces patients risks of transfer to ICU, readmission, development of chronic conditions, and death.

Emergency nurses are the first clinicians with whom waiting patients have contact. If clinical deterioration in sepsis is detected earlier in these patients, then decisions linked to time critical treatments (e.g. antibiotics) can occur much earlier in the patient journey. This can be lifesaving,
Dr Margaret Murphy, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Emergency Services, Westmead Hospital
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