Is New York State the best place to be if you become septic? Isn’t this the state that brought a bill to the assembly in 2011 that threatened to make “reckless infection of a patient with a communicable disease by a health care provider” a felony? Now, the governor has mandated that all New York hospitals develop aggressive procedures for identifying sepsis. Didn’t the “Surviving Sepsis Campaign” start in 2002? So – better late than never, New York.
But wait – why is a state governor mandating this? Shouldn’t something like this come from the medical folks and not the government? Could it be that N.Y. hospitals aren’t doing such a great job at diagnosing and managing sepsis? As a physician I am embarrassed that the government needs to tell us that this is an issue. I’m proud to say my hospitals have been following the sepsis guidelines for years, but I guess some hospitals haven’t.
Shouldn’t this evidence-based medicine approach to diagnosing and treating sepsis be a quality factor monitored by physicians, nurses, quality personnel, and medical staff professionals? Should we be waiting for the government to tell us what the right thing to do for our patients is? Should our hospitals’ credentialing and privileging process be more attuned to matters of life and death than to the number of discharge summaries not dictated in a “timely” fashion? What do you think?