The Children’s Hospital Association (CHA), with more than 200 member children’s hospital, advances child health through innovations in quality, cost and delivery of care. Through advocacy for public policy and practice improvement, children’s hospitals work together to be a catalyst for effective change including better health outcomes at a faster pace, achieved more efficiently and at lower cost than any hospital can achieve working alone. With a long history of using collaboration to drive improvement, children’s hospitals have made care safer for all pediatric patients.

Now, children’s hospitals, together with CHA, are using collaboration to fight the leading cause of death in hospitalized children. Sepsis is especially difficult to recognize and diagnose in children, progresses rapidly in their small bodies, and requires highly specialized and coordinated treatment. Sepsis kills almost 5,000 children annually in the U.S. – more than pediatric cancers. And it is expensive to treat, accounting for 16 percent of all pediatric health care spending in the country – around $5 billion. As many as 80,000 children are hospitalized annually for sepsis and 65 percent of those children are ultimately treated in children’s hospitals. Children’s hospitals are on the front lines of the sepsis crisis. Earlier recognition and treatment will save lives.

The Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes collaborative has ambitious goals: reduce sepsis deaths and hospital-onset severe sepsis by 75 percent by 2020. To achieve this goal, hospitals are applying best practices and emerging evidence to improve recognition and timely treatment of sepsis. This requires working on multiple fronts simultaneously: organizing new care teams, engaging patients and families, introducing new processes, leveraging new data tools, and learning from every sepsis episode.

The collaborative is built on sepsis research and earlier improvement initiatives. More than 60 sepsis experts from 40 hospitals worked together to design and plan the collaborative. The result is an approach both broader and deeper than previous efforts. Where earlier sepsis efforts focused on emergency departments or intensive care units, this work is hospital-wide. And where earlier efforts have focused on treating severe sepsis and septic shock, the collaborative is also focused on preventing patient deterioration from early sepsis to the more damaging and deadly severe sepsis and septic shock.

The sepsis collaborative launched in June 2016 and currently has 44 hospitals participating, with additional hospitals ramping up in the coming months. Improved patient outcome trends are expected in 2018.

CHA also addresses sepsis beyond the collaborative via:

  • Webinar series featuring leading pediatric sepsis experts
  • Online sepsis training products for clinicians
  • Sepsis presentations at CHA’s annual quality and safety conference
  • Member and public awareness activities during Sepsis Awareness Month
  • Partnerships with leading sepsis organizations, including Sepsis Alliance

CHA and its members believe that sepsis is treatable; many sepsis deaths are preventable and the high costs of advanced treatment are avoidable. Children’s hospitals are committed to changing sepsis outcomes through collaboration.


If you would like to attend Sepsis Heroes or make a donation, please visit the Sepsis Heroes ticket page.