Rapid, Positive Growth of Sepsis Coordinator Network Proves Need

July 26, 2018

Almost 1,000 healthcare professionals have joined the Sepsis Coordinator Network since its launch two months ago.

There’s a saying that teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success and if the Sepsis Coordinator Network is any measure, this saying is true. After many requests from nurses and other healthcare professionals for help as they worked towards improving sepsis care, Sepsis Alliance launched the Sepsis Coordinator Network this past May. The response was immediate and only two months later, there are nearly 1,000 members in the network, representing over 800 hospitals and facilities, and almost 300,000 hospital beds.

What Is the Sepsis Coordinator Network?

Sepsis Alliance noticed a consistent need among sepsis coordinators and other healthcare providers who were trying to improve outcomes in their facility – they needed more support. “Sepsis Alliance received many requests from these professionals as they looked for tools and resources to help advocate for a sepsis coordinator position, to help get physician or leadership buy in, and to give insight on best practice in sepsis care,” said Savannah Stark, Director of Development and Partnerships at Sepsis Alliance. After consultation with leaders in sepsis management and sepsis advocates, work began on the creation of the Sepsis Coordinator Network. “The goal of the network would be to connect nurses so they could share their experiences and offer support and guidance to their peers, and that this in turn would help to improve care across all facilities, saving more lives,” she explained.

People interested in joining the network do not have to be sepsis coordinators. It is open to all healthcare professionals who have a goal to improve sepsis care in their facility. Members of the network have access to information on local and national events, including online webinars, and a growing body of educational material. But the crown jewel of the network is the private forums, where members can ask questions and discuss topics related to sepsis. Current topics range from how to make a case for a sepsis coordinator position to use of various sepsis protocols. Members can also connect with each other privately to further discussions off the boards.

Cairn Ruhumuliza, RN, MS, is the Sepsis and Special Projects Coordinator at McLaren Northern Michigan Healthcare in Petoskey, Mich. She worked with other volunteers and the Sepsis Alliance team to bring the Sepsis Coordinator Network to life. “I believe that sepsis is one of the most poorly understood syndromes within health care today – and I think that is true for nurses, providers, health care administrators, health systems as well as patients, families and communities, which really doesn’t make logical sense when you look at the wealth of information in the literature,” she said. “One of the first things I did when researching [my] position was to search for resources. I found it challenging to put together a clear picture of the problem because there is so much information out there – and so much of it is conflicting. I thought that through this network we could help create a resource where the best evidence is available in one place – to help avoid some of the challenges those just setting up programs run into.”

Sepsis Coordinator Network Members

The network members are overwhelming in nursing, but anyone who works in a facility who has a desire to improve sepsis care is welcome to join. Jennifer Castro, RN, MSN, Clinical Quality Analyst in the Quality Department at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Calif., joined the Sepsis Coordinator Network not long after it launched. As the Sepsis Performance Improvement Coordinator for her facility, she felt that the network would help provide innovative ideas on how to improve care. “It takes a village, and this is our village,” she said. “I think it’s nice to have a forum to go to and ask questions from people that have a similar role. Sepsis is a complex diagnosis and can be difficult to treat, the goal is to work together to improve outcomes, and it’s nice to share what is going well, and share struggles. We can all learn from one another.”

Moving Forward with the Network

The Sepsis Coordinator Network is in its early days yet. Over the next few months, there will be new educational material, and tools and resources added to the site. The network is community driven. The more activity there is surrounding a certain topic or concern, the more information will be made available for the entire community.

For nurses who are struggling to bring the importance of sepsis care to their facilities, the network provides the numbers and the backing that show the urgency and importance of addressing the problem. For those who are already working in a sepsis program, the support of others in the network provides a sounding board and educational opportunities that do not exist anywhere else. “I envision a multi-pronged network of resources and resource links. I envision the SCN through Sepsis Alliance as being THE first place to go to get evidence based information on sepsis,” said Ruhumuliza.

The rapid growth and overwhelmingly positive feedback since the network launched has proven the need for this type of resource for healthcare providers doing everything they can to save lives and impact the lives of their patients, said Stark. “The more health providers sharing their experiences and bringing attention to the need for improved care, the louder the collective voice will be. If you are a health care provider, please join the network to give and get advice in the forum, check out all of the free downloads and educational webinars, and get free patient education guides.”

To join the Sepsis Coordinator Network, visit SepsisCoordinatorNetwork.org.