Implementation of a multicenter performance improvement program for early detection and treatment of severe sepsis in general medical–surgical wards

Christa Schorr, Andrew Odden, Laura Evans, Gabriel J. Escobar, Snehal Gandhi, Sean Townsend, Mitchell Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sepsis is a leading cause of in-hospital death, and evidence suggests a higher mortality in patients presenting with sepsis on the ward compared to those presenting to the emergency department. Ward patients who develop severe sepsis may have poor outcomes for a variety of reasons, including delayed diagnosis, lack of readily available staffing, and delayed treatment. We report on a multihospital quality improvement program for early detection and treatment of sepsis on general medical–surgical wards. We describe a multipronged approach to improve severe sepsis outcomes using the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Plan-Do-Study-Act model. Sixty sites engaged in a collaborative implementation process that aligned people, process, and technology. Based on our experience, we recommend a stepwise approach to implement such a program: (1) both administrative and clinical leadership commit to a common goal; (2) appoint clinical champions and give them authority to engage other clinicians to improve timeliness of interventions; (3) map workflows and processes to rely heavily on the nursing staff's ability to evaluate and report severe sepsis screening results; (4) if available, design and deploy technology with the assistance of clinical informaticians (eg, to enable electronic health records–based continuous screening); (5) to determine success, consider tracking screening compliance and process, and outcome measures such as length of stay and mortality. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2016;S11:32–S39.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S32-S39
JournalJournal of hospital medicine
Volume11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

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