Lakeview Regional Medical Center, a campus of Tulane Medical Center, is one of dozens of HCA Healthcare hospitals that has begun using an algorithm driven, real-time system to more quickly identify patients with sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition that can lead to multiple organ failure and death.

The Sepsis Prediction and Optimization of Therapy - or SPOT - technology was created by HCA clinical and information technology experts using data from millions of hospitalizations across HCA, making it highly sensitive and extremely precise. Lakeview Regional and its sister Tulane Health System facilities are all owned and operated by HCA, and all have recently adopted SPOT protocols - with positive results so far.

Since first implementing the SPOT program in pilot hospitals three years ago, HCA estimates it has saved more than 5,500 lives by identifying suspected sepsis early, when it is most easily treated. More than 1 million patients have been followed by SPOT nationwide.

"Early detection and immediate treatment of sepsis can be the difference between life and death," said Dr. Jacques Guillot, Lakeview Regional's chief medical officer. "The symptoms of sepsis often resemble many other medical conditions, so the use of this artificial intelligence technology provides our patients with another layer of protection and peace of mind."

Sepsis, which causes approximately 270,000 deaths per year in the United States alone, is a condition in which the body's immune system has an overwhelming response to infection. It is most common in the young, elderly and anyone with a compromised immune system.

Traditionally, diagnosis was made through manual review of patient charts. However, this approach delayed diagnosis while the infection progressed. The SPOT technology was developed to monitor clinical data - including patient location, vital signs, pharmacy and laboratory data and nursing reports - and sees critical data points in patients' electronic records. SPOT then links algorithmic sepsis detection with clinical workflow and signals subtle changes in a patient's condition to caregivers in real time in order to initiate sepsis care.

"This is an excellent example of a benefit of scale we receive being a part of a large organization like HCA Healthcare," Dr. Guillot said. "This is technology that is literally changing inpatient hospital care, and it's exciting to be on the forward edge of it here in Southeastern Louisiana,"

For more information, please visit the HCA Healthcare blog.