Sepsis is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and new research published in the Journal for Healthcare Quality (JHQ) shows that educating clinicians about expediting diagnosis and administration of antibiotics can reduce sepsis patient mortality and lower hospital costs. JHQ is the peer-reviewed publication of the National Association for Healthcare Quality.
Researchers at Detroit Medical Center reported the results of the implementation of an initiative called the Surviving Sepsis Campaign, www.survivingsepsis.org, an international effort to formulate guidelines to improve sepsis treatment and reduce mortality through sustainable change and physician education. The clinical goals were to optimize timeliness of antibiotic administration and create a better continuum of care from the emergency department to acute and critical care settings.
Four hospitals in the Detroit Medical Center system participated in the study and 150 patients met the eligibility criteria. The intent of the study was to learn if sepsis education resulted in improved frequency and timing of interventions.
Results of the sepsis education effort showed improved frequency of blood culture testing before antibiotic administrations and significant improvement -- a 50 percent reduction -- in the time to antibiotic treatment from a mean of 182 minutes to 92 minutes.
"While guidelines provide a roadmap for patient care, successful implementation relies on consistent patterns of clinician practice to achieve optimal outcomes," said lead author Maria Teresa Palleschi, RN, DNP, Detroit Medical Center. "Educating staff is essential to the process of improving patient outcomes, and the results of our study showed the relationship between education and sampling of lactate and blood cultures as well as timeliness of antibiotic administration."
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