November 11, 2016

The High Reliability Organization Council and Sepsis Alliance Join Forces to Battle Sepsis, Recently Cited as a National Health Emergency by the CDC

The High Reliability Organization Council and Sepsis Alliance are teaming up to raise awareness of sepsis as a national health emergency. The initiative will aim to save patients in Department of Defense, Veterans Administration, and civilian hospitals by reducing “task saturation” among healthcare providers.

SAN DIEGO, CA (NOVEMBER 11, 2016) – The High Reliability Organization Council (HROC) and Sepsis Alliance are partnering to battle sepsis, which the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently declared, “a national emergency putting thousands of patients in hospitals across the country at risk of death.”

Working with Department of Defense (DoD), Veteran Administration (VA), and civilian hospitals in Ohio, Michigan, and Mississippi, and other states, HROC is saving lives with tools that prevent “failure to rescue” (FTR). Sepsis Alliance is the largest national sepsis organization, focused on raising sepsis awareness among the general public and healthcare professionals. Together, HROC and Sepsis Alliance will engage in wide-ranging efforts to reduce sepsis and other FTR by reducing “task saturation” (i.e. too much to do in too little time, resulting in preventable errors) among healthcare providers.

HROC has been working with DoD, VA, and civilian hospitals to demonstrate how tools aimed at reducing task saturation save lives by reducing sepsis. Early results of one study, expected to be released in early 2017, show significant reductions in both preventable deaths, as well as preventable instances of sepsis.

“Preventable deaths are also known as failure to rescue, which consists of failure to recognize and failure to act – preventing task saturation is a way to prevent both,” said Lieutenant Colonel Jared Mort, the leader of a DoD task saturation study. “Preliminary data from the failure to rescue project suggests wide-ranging applications including the enabling of leading edge antibiotic stewardship (to reduce pandemic risks), reducing errors, and even the prevention of suicides.”

HROC believes a heightened awareness and focus on task saturation is needed to successfully combat the sepsis emergency, as well as other current healthcare crises. “HROC looks forward to joining forces with Sepsis Alliance to combat sepsis and reduce deaths from this terrible disease,” said E. Barry Levy, HROC’s Executive Director. “In 2017, The Joint Commission (TJC) will be putting in place a set of standards on antibiotic stewardship and HROC members are ready to work with TJC, CDC, DoD, and VA to show how healthcare professionals can reduce death by focusing on task saturation to in turn prevent failure to rescue.”

Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. It is estimated that 258,000 Americans every year are killed by sepsis, with a staggering toll on the U.S. healthcare system.

“We are incredibly pleased to be teaming up with HROC, an organization truly dedicated to improving patient and public safety,” added Tom Heymann, Executive Director of Sepsis Alliance. “Sepsis is an incredibly devastating condition that 45% of American adults have never even heard of. The HROC/Sepsis Alliance partnership will work tirelessly to reduce the incidences of sepsis, which has the potential to save thousands of lives each year.”

About HROC

HROC ( is a registered non-profit committed to scientific study and public safety, and serves as a platform for education and collaboration, supporting and assisting in the implementation of High Reliability Organizations (HRO) in healthcare, government, and nonprofit entities. It arose from over 2 years of pro bono work by ProcessProxy Corp. with the U.S. Air Force in a Cooperative Research And Development Agreement. HROC members are clinicians, researchers, veterans, and HRO practitioners on the frontline of educating the public on the need for healthcare to adopt HRO principles in the interest of significantly improving both patient and public safety.

About Sepsis Alliance

Sepsis Alliance is the nation’s leading sepsis advocacy organization, dedicated to saving lives by raising awareness of sepsis as a medical emergency. A 501(c)(3) organization, Sepsis Alliance was founded by Dr. Carl Flatley after the sudden, unnecessary death of his daughter Erin to a disease he had never even heard of. Sepsis Alliance produces and distributes educational materials for patients, families and health providers on sepsis prevention, early recognition and treatment. The organization also offers support to patients, sepsis survivors, and family members through its website which receives more than 1 million visits each year. The organization founded Sepsis Awareness Month in 2011, and works with partners to host community outreach events across North America. Since Sepsis Alliance began its mission, sepsis awareness has increased almost threefold, from 19% to 55%. For more information on Sepsis Alliance, a GuideStar Gold-rated charity, please visit