A Multimedia, Multidisciplinary Approach to Implementing an Early Sepsis Awareness and Treatment Plan

Thursday, 10 July 2008: 10:50 AM
Melissa Ann Pollard, RN, MS, ARNP, CCRN, CEN , Education Department, Exeter Hospital, Exeter, NH
Deborah Aylard, MS, RN , Progressive Care Unit, Exeter Hospital, Exeter, NH

Learning Objective 1: implement a project incorporating research, education, and protocol using creative ideas

Learning Objective 2: recognize the benefits of incorporating different teaching strategies in a hospital wide awareness plan

Sepsis is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Research has shown that improved survival comes with early recognition and initiation of aggressive treatment. Our group was initiated by ICU staff nurses interested in the research that in sepsis, nurses were the key to saving lives. We reviewed the literature and focused on the Institute for Healthcare "surviving sepsis" campaign. We utilized expertise from physicians, nurses, educators, pharmacists, and quality improvement to build our project. Included in the project was a nursing master's research project on nurse's confidence to recognize subtle early signs. From this, we developed a tool to screen patients for sepsis, a protocol for treatment to guide management, and an education plan that included presentations, interactive skits, posters, reference cards, and a music video to show at staff meetings.

The project has been implemented, and further follow up education continues. Shortly after the education initiative began, we noted an increased awareness in staff, particularly on medical surgical floors, in asking for earlier transfers to ICU for more aggressive treatment. The positive feedback has surpassed our expectations.