Sepsis protocols have been proven to save lives. Currently, three states accounting for 42 million people are covered by mandatory sepsis protocols. In each case, these protocols have been the result of grassroots efforts spearheaded by individuals who feel personally invested in preventing needless deaths from sepsis. We have compiled a Sepsis Protocols Toolkit to provide you with everything you need to get started. With the support of END SEPSIS and by following the steps outlined below, you can make your state safe from sepsis.
1. Contact END SEPSIS to see if efforts are already underway in your state and to connect with fellow advocates.
2. Request a meeting with your State Representative, State Senator or State Health Official (or someone senior on their staff). Our friends at Common Cause have developed a database to help you reach your state representatives: Find Your Elected Officials Database. Your State Health Official can be found here: http://www.astho.org/Directory/
3. Before your meeting:
- Print out copies of Rory’s Regulations and the Parents’ Bill of Rights to bring with you. These are the protocols in place in New York State and should act as a model for your state’s protocols.
- Familiarize yourself with the information in the Sepsis Protocols Overview and Commonly Asked Questions. This will help you make the case for sepsis protocols clearly and persuasively.
- (All these documents are included in Sepsis Protocols Toolkit.)
4. During the meeting:
- Educate your representative about sepsis and its impact. Remember, most people have never heard of sepsis and/or don’t understand the extent of the problem.
- Don’t forget that the personal is powerful. Why are you concerned about sepsis? Do you have personal experience with sepsis? Are you a healthcare professional? Are you concerned constituent, alarmed by the number of needless deaths from sepsis?
- Ask when you can follow up and what the next steps will be. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the process and the next steps before you leave.
5 After the meeting:
- Be persistent and don’t be discouraged! Elected officials have many competing priorities. Keep checking in regularly and schedule a follow-up meeting if necessary.
- Get in touch with us at END SEPSIS at any time to receive support and guidance on how to proceed and to report in on any action being taken in your state.
4. Be creative about gaining support for your campaign for sepsis protocols. Circulate a petition, start a letter-writing campaign, contact local media, hold an event, invite others with firsthand experience with sepsis to share their stories with the elected officials you meet with.