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Wolters Kluwer Health, The Altos Group Highlight Long-Term Impact of Change Management on Sepsis Mortality Rates among California Hospital Cohort

Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading global provider of information for healthcare professionals and students, announced today that nine California hospitals have maintained a 50% sepsis mortality rate reduction two years after participating in a change management study. The company has integrated key elements of the study, which was designed and led by its strategic partner, The Altos Group, into a ground-breaking sepsis mortality reduction program. 

As part of the California study, which was  profiled by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), participating hospitals adopted four common approaches: 1) sepsis screening of all patients, 2) a fast-track workup to confirm the diagnosis, 3) initiatives to promote adherence to protocols that call for prompt initiation of appropriate treatment, and 4) ongoing monitoring. The result was a 54.5% reduction in average mortality rates within three years of the study’s launch in December 2008.

In December 2012, all nine hospitals reported continued declines in mortality rates. Additionally, the overall cohort-wide mortality rate was down 49.8% relative to the baseline. The same change management model was also studied for its impact on medication error rates. The resulting 89% improvement was also maintained years after the active phase of the program ended.

“These results demonstrate the validity of a change-management approach to sepsis reduction,” said Julie A. Kliger, MPA, BSN, President and CEO,  The Altos Group. “Equally important, these outcomes were maintained over a significant period of time. That is vital in healthcare, where sustaining improvement is as desired as it is elusive.”

Wolters Kluwer Health’s sepsis mortality reduction program focuses on early detection and applying best practices to treating the septic patient. In addition to reducing overall patient mortality, costs and lengths of stay, the goal of the program is to identify and address the top healthcare-associated infections (HAI) that drive sepsis mortality. This will be accomplished through a three-pronged approach that couples mobile software with actionable content supplemented by change management consulting services. The program is driven by Wolters Kluwer Health’s trusted brands including  UpToDate®Lexicomp®ProVation ® Order Sets, and  Sentri7®.

“Efficacy and sustainability are powerful motivators for clinicians who are being asked to adopt new clinical practices and workflows. Physicians want to make sure that the things they are being asked to do actually improve patient care,” said Linda R. Peitzman, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Wolters Kluwer Health, Clinical Solutions. “Though change management represents just one element of our sepsis mortality reduction program, this demonstration of its long-term impact is validation that an approach to disease management that looks at multiple aspects of both the system and workflow is the right path to follow.”

Hospitals are currently being enrolled to serve as pilot sites in the program. Interested facilities should contact Andy Strunk, Innovation Lab Program Director, at (650) 224-4463 or

About The Altos Group
The Altos Group’s mission is to improve patient outcomes by creating highly trained, motivated and engaged frontline practitioners. Our work has produced results that directly correlate to a significant reduction in overall sepsis mortality and medication errors. In addition to improved patient outcomes and satisfaction, our clients have witnessed improved staff satisfaction, retention, recruitment and professionalism.

The Altos Group works with healthcare providers to create programs that are specifically designed to improve clinical, as well as operational, outcomes. Our proven programs are results-oriented, creating a culture of learning and accountability that translates into better patient outcomes, a professionally fulfilled staff and improved financial performance.

About Wolters Kluwer Health
Wolters Kluwer Health (Philadelphia, PA) is a leading global provider of information, business intelligence and point-of-care solutions for the healthcare industry. Serving more than 150 countries and territories worldwide, Wolters Kluwer Health’s customers include professionals, institutions and students in medicine, nursing, allied health and pharmacy. Major brands include traditional publishers of medical and drug reference tools, journals and textbooks, such as  Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; and electronic information providers, such as  Ovid ®MedknowUpToDate ®Medi-Span ®Facts & Comparisons ®Pharmacy OneSource®Lexicomp ® and  ProVation ® Medical.

Wolters Kluwer Health is part of  Wolters Kluwer, a market-leading global information services company. Wolters Kluwer has 2011 annual revenues of €3.4 billion ($4.7 billion), employs approximately 19,000 people worldwide, and maintains operations in over 40 countries across Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and Latin America.