UF Health Jacksonville is using population health measures to further improve quality.
Recent articles in Academic Matters have touched on the significant improvements made in quality at UF Health Jacksonville over the past few years. These improvements — including in our mortality and sepsis metrics — result in stronger placement in U.S. News & World Report and other national ranking systems.
Going further, we have been assessing disparities in quality based on various demographics.
Data show there is no statistical difference at UF Health Jacksonville in the global mortality index and sepsis mortality index on the basis on gender, race or socioeconomics. We should be proud and celebrate, but this high-level view can’t be the only way we examine populations of patients within our system. We have only started uncovering issues surrounding the complex topic of equity using a population health approach.
UF Health Jacksonville has made tremendous progress in how sepsis is treated. We have significantly improved the early detection and survivability of the condition. We do that equally for all patients. However, initial data suggests there may be subpopulations, such as chronic alcoholics, who would benefit from a more targeted protocol. Very few hospitals are creating sepsis care protocols for patients with liver failure or other underlying medical conditions.
As more patients survive severe sepsis and septic shock at UF Health Jacksonville, more of them have a 30-day readmission. Socioeconomic factors may influence the readmission rate. Initial data suggests it is the underfunded population, and not the unfunded population, who are impacted the most.
Physicians and data scientists are analyzing the numbers now to determine how best to affect the readmission rate for patients who survive sepsis. Approaching inpatient metrics using population health measures and social determinants of health has not been done on a large scale before at our hospital. This is an extremely exciting new quality area for physicians and staff to explore, all for the betterment of our patients.