Racial disparities exist in sepsis care, study finds

Hospitals that treat a larger population of black patients see slower improvements in sepsis care than hospitals that treat more white patients, according to a study published in Health Affairs.

In 2014, New York state implemented mandatory care protocols for hospitals to improve the identification and treatment of sepsis, according to Futurity. For the study, researchers examined sepsis mortality rates and compliance to the state-mandated sepsis protocols at New York hospitals.

Within 27 months of the initiative's launch, the percent of patients treated with the full sepsis protocol jumped from 60.7 percent to 72.1 percent. Mortality rates also fell from 25.4 percent to 21.3 percent over the same time period.

However, black patients saw a far smaller increase in sepsis protocol completion than white patients. Protocol completion increased 5.3 percentage points for black patients, compared to 14 percentage points for white patients.

"The emergence of this disparity was due to smaller performance improvements among hospitals with higher proportions of black patients," the study authors said. "Policy makers should anticipate and monitor the effects of quality improvement initiatives on disparities to ensure that all racial/ethnic groups realize their benefits equitably."

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Duke Health uses AI to reduce sepsis in hospitals

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