Ian Barbash, MD, MS, Awarded K08 Grant to Evaluate SEP-1 Program

Ian Barbash, MD, MS, a CRISMA associate faculty member and former CRISMA postdoctoral scholar, has been awarded a K08 grant by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality at the Department of Health and Human Services. The grant, entitled ‘Evaluating National Sepsis Policy Using the Electronic Health Record,’ funds research to evaluate the effect of the SEP-1 program on the care processes and outcomes for patients hospitalized with sepsis. SEP-1 is the national sepsis performance measure required of all US hospitals.

In explaining the complexity of the sepsis quality measurement, Dr. Barbash said, “Sepsis is a syndrome, not a disease, so it can be difficult to identify in patients, plus sepsis requires multiple acute care teams. That’s why it’s important to look at the impact of SEP-1 so we can determine which sepsis care practices work and which need refinement.”

Almost three years since the introduction of SEP-1, Dr. Barbash’s study will rigorously evaluate the effect of the SEP-1 program on patient outcomes and sepsis care processes, including antibiotic administration, fluid resuscitation, lactate measurement, and vasopressor use. His study is innovative in its use of detailed clinical data from the electronic health record to track the impact of health policy on the implementation of evidence-based practice. 

Dr. Barbash foresees that the study will generate actionable data for use by clinicians and policy makers in order to plan quality metrics for future sepsis care. Also, the study will improve hospital performance in critical illness and speed new clinical practices.

The K08 clinical investigator award provides physicians with an intensive, supervised, research career development experience. Dr. Barbash is supervised by Jeremy Kahn, MD, MS, who is Professor of Critical Cate Medicine and Health Policy & Management, and Vice Chair of Academic Affairs in the Department of Critical Care Medicine.

Dr. Barbash is a faculty member in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine (PACCM) at the University of Pittsburgh.  He received his MD from Harvard Medical School, undertook an Internal Medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, and moved to Pittsburgh in 2013 to undertake a fellowship in Critical Care Medicine at PACCM.

The SEP-1 program requires all US hospitals to report compliance with evidence-based sepsis care processes. It was incorporated into the hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program of the United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in October 2015.