J Emerg Med 2010 Feb 23;38(2):122-30, quiz 130-2. Epub 2008 Jul 23.
Department of Emergency Medicine, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California 92354, USA.
Background: Evidence-based therapies for severe sepsis include early antibiotics, early goal-directed therapy, corticosteroids, recombinant human activated protein C, glucose control, and lung protective strategies.
Objective: The objective of this study was to analyze methods, challenges, and outcomes observed by hospitals that implemented a hospital-wide sepsis management protocol incorporating evidence-based therapies.
Methods: In a cross-sectional multi-center telephone survey over a 4-month period, clinicians (participants) responsible for developing a hospital sepsis protocol were questioned regarding its development and outcomes.
Results: Participants completing surveys represented 40 hospitals (20 academic and 20 community). Twenty-seven percent of protocol champions were Emergency physicians or nurses. Sixty-three percent reported protocol development time of 6-12 months. Eighty-eight percent of participants reported protocol initiation in the Emergency Department. Three participants reported hiring a nurse educator to implement the protocol. Ninety-five percent of participants measure lactate as part of patient screening. Protocol therapies reported included early antibiotics (98%), early goal directed-therapy (EGDT) (98%), corticosteroids (80%), and activated protein C (73%). Contributions to success included having a protocol champion (85%) and sepsis education program (65%). Twenty-one participants had recorded patient-level data, totaling 2319 protocol patients, compared to 1719 non-protocol patients, with in-hospital mortality of 23% and 44%, respectively.
Conclusions: Implementation of a sepsis management protocol incorporating evidence-based therapies can be accomplished in both academic and community hospitals, with minimal additional staffing. The presence of a protocol champion and education program is crucial to success, and may result in improved patient outcome.