Patient Safety | 12.01.23
Infectious Disease Groups Urge CMS to Retire Sepsis Treatment Guidelines
A coalition of medical groups is pushing back against the Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock: Management Bundle (SEP-1), put in place by CMS in late 2015. The guidelines dictate multiple measures — from drawing blood cultures to administering broad-spectrum antibiotics — within three hours of identifying possible sepsis. Not only does research show the protocol has not curbed mortality rates, but groups including the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American College of Emergency Physicians suggest it may actually put certain patients at risk of harm. The SEP-1 "does not take into account that many serious conditions present in a similar fashion to sepsis," the groups explain in a statement. "Pushing clinicians to treat all these patients as if they have sepsis leads to overuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics, which can be harmful to patients who are not infected, those who are infected with viruses rather than bacteria, and those who could safely be treated with narrower-spectrum antibiotics." Instead of SEP-1, coalition members want more performance-based measures.