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Authors

  1. Hampe, Holly M. DSc, RN, BSN, MRM, MHA

Abstract

Over the last decade, hospitalizations for sepsis have more than doubled and the incidence of postsurgical sepsis tripled between 1997 and 2006. This upward trend is expected to continue for several reasons, including population-specific characteristics (eg, age, chronic disease status) and health care-specific characteristics (eg, lack of understanding of sepsis, medical treatments that leave patients susceptible). Highly effective, focused, quality improvement teams need to be established in order to successfully manage this condition. Quality improvement, and specifically quality improvement in health care, has evolved substantially over the past few decades. This evolution has been pushed by government initiatives and private accrediting bodies that have exposed concerns regarding quality of care. Hospitals have responded with not only corrective actions but also actions that improve quality despite a lack of noted deficiencies (ie, taking quality from "good" to "better"). Key components of a successful quality improvement program have been identified, as have components of successful quality improvement teams. By applying these components to a physician-led sepsis quality improvement team, hospitals can successfully decrease sepsis mortality and increase compliance with the application of sepsis best practice in the emergency department, intensive care unit, or non-intensive care unit nursing units.