Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

HCA Education and Research / dba Home Care Association of New York State

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

April 2021

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

September 2017 - October 2018

Sepsis is an overwhelming, swift, debilitating, and deadly bodily response to infection.

In New York State, approximately 50,000 patients are diagnosed with severe sepsis or septic shock each year; of those, 30% of adults and 9% of children die in the hospital from sepsis. Although more than 80% of sepsis cases originate outside of the hospital, no home or community sepsis screening and intervention system had existed in the United States prior to 2015. Patients in home care are at particular risk for sepsis, and the condition often goes unnoticed until it becomes life-threatening.

To address this issue, the Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) in 2015 created a sepsis screening and intervention tool with a team of sepsis medical experts for application in home care settings. Simultaneously, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services initiated a large regional pilot of a sepsis screening tool in the Capital District and Central New York regions, which incorporated the HCA sepsis tool and was subsequently endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NYHealth awarded HCA a grant to expand the screening tool to all home care agencies in the State.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Developed a training curriculum for the screening tool to reduce sepsis by targeting home care clinicians and leaders and key hospital partners.
  • Convened a steering committee to guide the development of the training curriculum, including State and national sepsis experts; government officials; and stakeholders representing hospitals, insurers, and consumers.
  • Implemented a train-the-trainer program and developed educational and training materials, including a toolkit and DVD.
  • Trained approximately 2,000 home care providers from all regions of the State, representing 55 of New York’s 62 counties and serving 321,466 New Yorkers receiving home care.
  • Conducted conferences, webinars, and regional on-site trainings and offered technical support for home care clinicians and agency leaders throughout the State.
  • Improved sepsis knowledge and awareness: the evaluation of those trained showed that 84–94% reported an increase in their sepsis knowledge because of the training.
  • Created the Stop Sepsis At Home NY website as part of a public education and awareness campaign on the dangers of sepsis.
  • Prepared a brief, “Home Health Sepsis Screening and Intervention Initiative,” to educate members of the New York congressional delegation and the State legislature.

HCA widely shared its training curriculum for the screening tool both across New York State and with other states. It convened a sepsis summit in collaboration with IPRO, Sepsis Alliance, the Rory Staunton Foundation, Healthcare Association of New York State, New York State Department of Health, New York State Office for the Aging, and members of the steering committee. Additionally, it worked with other states that were interested in adopting the sepsis screening tool, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, as well as helped guide the Illinois Hospital Association to adopt the screening tool.

HCA’s work also helped inform proposed State legislation to promote sepsis prevention in home care and community-based settings. The legislation was passed by both the New York State Senate and Assembly in 2019, but was ultimately vetoed.

Co-Funding and Additional Funds Leveraged: N/A