Care of sepsis
has been the focus of intense research and guideline development for more than two decades. With ongoing success of computer protocol
(CP) technology and with publication of Surviving Sepsis Campaign
(SSC) guidelines, we undertook protocol development for management of sepsis
of surgical intensive care unit patients in mid-2006.
protocol was developed and implemented in The Methodist Hospital (TMH) (Houston, TX) surgical intensive care unit (27 beds) together with a sepsis
research database. We compare paper-protocol (PP) (2008) and CP (2009) performance and results of the SSC guideline performance improvement initiative (2005–2008). TMH surgical intensive care unit sepsis
protocol was developed to implement best evidence and to standardize decision making among surgical intensivists, nurse practitioners, and resident physicians.
The 2008 and 2009 sepsis
protocol cohorts had very similar number of patients, age, % male gender, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation scoring system II, and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment scores. The 2008 PP patients had greater baseline lactate concentration consistent with greater mortality rate. Antibiotic agents were administered to 2009 CP cohort patients sooner than 2008 PP cohort patients. Both cohorts received similar volume of intravenous fluid boluses. Comparing 6-hour resuscitation bundle compliance, the 2009 CP cohort was substantially greater than SSC eighth quarter and 2008 PP cohorts (79% vs. 31% vs. 29%), and mortality rate was much less when using the CP (14% vs. 31% vs. 24%).
Our comprehensive sepsis
protocol has enabled rapid and consistent implementation of evidence-based care, and, implemented as a bedside CP, contributed to decreased mortality rate for management of surgical sepsis