December 14, 2016

Holy Family Hospital Announces Advanced Testing to Rapidly Identify Sepsis and Potentially Save Lives

Holy Family Hospital is the first hospital in Massachusetts and New Hampshire to introduce Verigene® - a new technology that rapidly identifies sepsis-causing bacteria so the right therapies can be administered quickly and potentially save lives. 
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition in which the body is fighting a severe infection that has spread via the blood stream. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), half of those diagnosed with sepsis can die from it. 
Earlier identification and treatment for the specific bacteria has been associated with improved patient outcomes. Validation studies at Holy Family Hospital showed that with Verigene® health care providers received actionable information 37.5 to 46.5 hours sooner than they would have with conventional methods used at other hospitals.
“Delivery of this time-critical information enables clinicians to provide targeted patient care more quickly, potentially leading to improved patient outcomes, optimized antibiotic therapy, reduced spread of antibiotic resistance, and more importantly, saved lives,” says Holy Family Hospital Laboratory Operation Manager Susan Sullivan. ”Our microbiology supervisor, Cynthia Astolfi, advocated for this life saving technology, and we are proud to say that Holy Family Hospital is the first hospital in Massachusetts and New Hampshire to implement Verigene® for blood cultures.”
Implementation of this new technology has been a collaborative effort by members of Holy Family Hospital’s Microbiology, Information Systems, Infection Control, Nursing, and Clinical Pharmacy Departments.
“ Holy Family Hospital recently announced that we were the first hospital in Massachusetts to receive Advanced Certification in Hip and Knee Surgery from the Joint Commission, that we are one of only 72 hospitals in the nation to receive a Straight A Hospital Safety Grade from The Leapfrog Group since the inception of the award in 2012, and now we are the first in Massachusetts and New Hampshire to implement Verigene® - a life-saving technology,” says Holy Family Hospital President Craig Jesiolowski. “All of this is tangible proof that Holy Family Hospital prides itself in the delivery of the highest quality patient care, and of our dedication to the communities we serve.”
Verigene® is an FDA approved nucleic acid test designed to be used in conjunction with positive blood cultures, to simultaneously detect and identify bacteria and common resistance markers.  Verigene® is part of Holy Family’s antimicrobic stewardship program: If a pathogen is identified, appropriate antibiotic treatment can be initiated. If a resistance marker is identified, the most effective antibiotic can be selected. If the organism is identified as a contaminant, unnecessary antibiotic treatments can be discontinued. 
The new tests, called the Verigene® Gram-Positive Blood Culture Nucleic Acid (BC-GP) Test and the Verigene Gram-Negative Blood Culture (BC-GN) Test, enable Holy Family Hospital clinicians to quickly diagnose patients who demonstrate symptoms of bloodstream infection nearly two days earlier than conventional methods.