Obstetric Sepsis Collaborative

Stanford has received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to further our work on obstetric sepsis. This work involves developing strong community and patient engagement and a formal review and update of the screening guidance using EHR data from 59 hospitals representative of the range of US facilities. Part of the new guidance is an important step: clinical evaluation of the patient following a positive screen with the goal of reducing false positive screens.  Also in the last few months, ACOG/AIM released a new national safety bundle “Sepsis in Obstetric Care” that includes great resources.

The Problem

  • Obstetric sepsis is the #2 cause of maternal mortality
  • Obstetric sepsis is the #3 cause of severe maternal morbidity 
  • The Joint Commission (TJC) / Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are introducing a severe maternal morbidity (SMM) quality measure this year
  • Implementation of the Sepsis bundle is one of 3 safety bundles (HEM and HTN are the others) that CMS is requiring for designation as Birthing-Friendly

The “Improving Diagnosis and Treatment of Obstetric Sepsis” Collaborative is a multi-stakeholder, multi-hospital effort to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of sepsis in California and Michigan.

Activities will assist hospitals across the states of California and Michigan in improving obstetric sepsis outcomes through (1) the implementation of the patient safety bundle developed by the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM); and (2) the use of the Improving Diagnosis and Treatment of Obstetric Sepsis Toolkit, developed by CMQCC and a taskforce of experts from across California.

The Collaborative is structured to include virtual learning sessions, as well as small group sharing with peers and mentoring with local experts who provide clinical and implementation expertise to their assigned teams. Other experts in patient safety, implementation, quality improvement, and data analytics will help hospital teams during the Collaborative. This will be accomplished through monthly web-based calls, as well as other educational opportunities to work with hospitals to improve obstetric sepsis outcomes. The commitment timeframe is October 2023 through December 2024. Participating hospital teams will receive training materials, educational webinars, assistance from experts and will be able to network with hospital teams across the state that are also participating in this project.

Co-Principal Investigators

Clinical Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology - Maternal Fetal Medicine
Melissa Bauer, DO
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Associate Professor in Population Health Sciences at Duke University