A hospital algorithm designed to predict a deadly condition misses most cases

A hospital algorithm designed to predict a deadly condition misses most cases


Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images

The biggest electronic health record company in the United States, Epic Systems, claims it can solve a major problem for hospitals: identifying signs of sepsis, an often deadly complication from infections that can lead to organ failure. It’s a leading cause of death in hospitals.

But the algorithm doesn’t work as well as advertised, according to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine on Monday. Epic says its alert system can correctly differentiate patients who do and don’t have sepsis 76 percent of the time. The new study found it was only right 63 percent of the time.

An Epic spokesperson disputed the findings in a statement to Stat News, saying that other research showed the algorithm was accurate.

Sepsis is hard to spot…

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