CRMC awarded rare sepsis certification

COOKEVILLE – Cookeville Regional Medical Center (CRMC) is the first hospital in the state of Tennessee and only one in 11 nationwide to earn The Joint Commission’s certification for sepsis treatment. CRMC received the award for its sepsis program by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in disease-specific care.

Sepsis is a serious infection of the blood or tissues that affects the whole body. The infection that causes sepsis may be bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic. Sepsis may be life threatening and can cause one’s blood pressure to drop, which could lead to shock. Shock causes the central nervous system and organs to stop working correctly. Sepsis can happen to anyone, but it is more likely to happen to those who have weakened immune systems.

CRMC underwent a rigorous on-site review in March. A Joint Commission expert evaluated CRMC for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients and families, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management.

“In achieving Joint Commission certification, Cookeville Regional Medical Center has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its patients with sepsis,” Michele Sacco, M.S., interim executive director, Certification Programs, said in a release. “Certification is a voluntary process and I commend Cookeville Regional for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”

Linda Crawford, chief clinical officer at CRMC, shares how this certification continues to support our mission of providing the best quality care.

“With Joint Commission Sepsis Disease Specific certification, we are making a significant investment in quality on a day-to-day basis from the top down. The Joint Commission accreditation provides us a framework to take our organization to the next level and helps create a culture of excellence,” Crawford said. “Achieving Joint Commission certification in sepsis, for our organization, is a major step toward maintaining excellence and continually improving the care we provide. Many people in our area don’t realize the level of sophisticated specialty care that we provide.”

Angela Craig, APN, MS, CCNS, ICU clinical nurse specialist at CRMC, facilitated the sepsis certification team and shares how this was truly a team effort to receive this certification.

“We implemented our sepsis protocol in 2009 in ICU/CVICU and the emergency department and then in 2010 went house-wide. We saw a dramatic increase in survival within the first three months of implementation,” Craig said. “We knew that our protocol was working and we decided to apply for certification. To gain certification we had to have a formal program in place with a standardized method of treatment as well as a strong approach to performance measurement and use of national guidelines.

“It took a huge team effort to achieve this status and the efforts by our physicians and staff has resulted in saving lives,” she added. “In the U.S. alone, more than 220,000 sepsis patients die annually. Here at Cookeville Regional we are saving lives, and that’s the reason we do this.”

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