SBMI Alumnus Receives Unparalleled Funding for Sepsis Work

Published July 18, 2012 by Sarah Kelly

HOUSTON-(July 18, 2012)- Dr. Stephen Jones, graduate of the health informatics master’s program at SBMI in 2010 and research scientist for Methodist’s department of surgery, is the principal investigator of the largest grant given to the hospital for academic inquiry and the biggest of the year received statewide.

The $14.4 million health care innovation grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services will allow implementation of protocols--called SERRI (Sepsis Early Recognition and Response Initiative)—that reduce inpatient sepsis and mortality.

"SERRI works because it engages bedside nurses -- the health professionals who spend the most time with patients," said Stephen L. Jones. "Patients developing sepsis and septic shock are identified earlier in the disease's development, and appropriate interventions are rapidly initiated, thus changing for the better a highly morbid, often fatal, and extremely expensive clinical trajectory."

SERRI saved the lives of 465 individuals with sepsis or sepsis-related complications, which was a 33 percent reduction in sepsis-related death, Methodist researchers said. The hospital estimates that it saved $13.5 million in acute and follow-up care expenses for those patients and over $6.5 million for 2011 inpatient Medicare payments.

With the funding, Jones and his team will place dozens of SERRI-trained registered nurses into hospitals and clinics throughout Texas. During the three-year grant period, Jones' group will collaborate with hospital administrators to determine the significance of SERRI on patient safety and health-care costs.

"We are taking the things we learn from our own research and applying them directly to patient care -- to improve the quality of people's lives and to reduce waste in the health care economy," Marc Boom, M.D., president and CEO of The Methodist Hospital System said.

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