Quality initiative to improve emergency department sepsis bundle compliance through utilisation of an electronic health record tool
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Sepsis is a common cause of emergency department (ED) presentation and hospital admission, accounting for a disproportionate number of deaths each year relative to its incidence. Sepsis outcomes have improved with increased recognition and treatment standards promoted by the Surviving Sepsis Campaign. Due to delay in recognition and other barriers, sepsis bundle compliance remains low nationally. We hypothesised that a targeted education intervention regarding use of an electronic health record (EHR) tool for identification and management of sepsis would lead to increased EHR tool utilisation and increased sepsis bundle compliance. METHODS:We created a multidisciplinary quality improvement team to provide training and feedback on EHR tool utilisation within our ED. A prospective evaluation of the rate of EHR tool utilisation was monitored from June through December 2020. Simultaneously, we conducted two retrospective cohort studies comparing overall sepsis bundle compliance for patients when EHR tool was used versus not used. The first cohort was all patients with intention-to-treat for any sepsis severity. The second cohort of patients included adult patients with time of recognition of sepsis in the ED admitted with a diagnosis of severe sepsis or septic shock. RESULTS:EHR tool utilisation increased from 23.3% baseline prior to intervention to 87.2% during the study. In the intention-to-treat cohort, there was a statistically significant difference in compliance between EHR tool utilisation versus no utilisation in overall bundle compliance (p<0.001) and for several individual components: initial lactate (p=0.009), repeat lactate (p=0.001), timely antibiotics (p=0.031), blood cultures before antibiotics (p=0.001), initial fluid bolus (p<0.001) and fluid reassessment (p<0.001). In the severe sepsis and septic shock cohort, EHR tool use increased from 71.2% pre-intervention to 85.0% post-intervention (p=0.008). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:With training, feedback and EHR optimisation, an EHR tool can be successfully integrated into current workflows and appears to increase sepsis bundle compliance.