Sepsis Performance Programs
Can Optimize Patient Outcomes

  • Sepsis performance improvement programs can optimize compliance with sepsis protocols and are associated with improved patient outcomes.
  • Having a Sepsis Performance Improvement program is more important than the specific content of the program.
  • Engaging a large multidisciplinary group of clinical leaders is essential for success.
  • Despite variances in Sepsis Performance Improvement Programs, they are consistently associated with increased bundle compliance.
  • Although there are multiple components to a Sepsis Performance Improvement Program, the factors independently associated with improved bundle compliance and decreased mortality are:
    • Use of Screening tools
    • Workflow Process Changes
    • Educational Programs
  • The goal of sepsis screening tools is NOT to diagnose sepsis, but rather for early identification of possible sepsis cases requiring further evaluation.
  • Sepsis screening alone will not result in improved performance measures or patient outcomes.
  • A large number of risk scores and screening tools are available (SIRS, MEWS, NEWS, qSOFA)
  • None are superior to any other
  • Accuracy of the tools are highly variable
  • All are susceptible to false positive findings
  • Artificial intelligence may help improve the value of these tools.
  • Once a suspected sepsis patient has been identified, implementation of the response is the most critical step.
  • Dedicated teams to respond to sepsis alerts, prevents placing the full burden of responsibility on a single extremely busy individual.
  • The use of a dedicated team has proven improved clinical outcomes.
  • Other process changes contributing to better bundle adherence include:
    • Printed/easily accessible protocols
    • Standardized order sets
    • Frequent auditing
    • Nurse driven protocols
  • Increased awareness of the sepsis approach via an educational program is essential.
  • Education materials could consists of:
    • Lectures
    • Bedside teaching
    • Simulation training
  • It remains to be seen if improved patient outcomes are due to:
    • Care bundle adherence
    • If 1 bundle element is of greater value than any other
    • If increased awareness irrespective of bundle adherence is important.
  • Should we be considering other endpoints than mortality, such as:
    • Resource use
    • Duration of invasive treatments
    • Development of organ dysfunction requiring high levels of care
  • Implementing a Sepsis Performance Improvement Program is associated with a number of improvements in care processes and patient outcomes.
  • Dedicated sepsis teams increase collaborative and timely discussions.
  • Workflow changes allow incorporation of clinical judgement while applying the recommended elements of sepsis care.

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Erkan Hassan is the Co-Founder & Chief Clinical Officer of Sepsis Program Optimization where he designs & oversees the implementation of solutions to optimize sepsis programs.

To discuss your organization’s Barriers of Effective Sepsis Care, contact Erkan by phone (844) 4SEPSIS (844-473-7747), email (, or video chat.