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Stop the Clock on Septic Shock—Sepsis Shout Out Award

Young Female Doctor Diverse Business Group
Monday, November 4, 2019

Covenant Medical Center (CMC) developed the Sepsis Shout Out Award to recognize caregivers with exemplary sepsis care delivery. The initial goal was to bring attention to those who go above and beyond to provide excellent sepsis care through early recognition or care advocacy. Recognition could increase awareness of sepsis practices and inspire other caregivers while simultaneously improving bundle compliance. The process for identification and recognition of the Sepsis Shout Out Award recipient follows:

  1. Abstraction: Identification of a randomize sample of inpatients with a diagnosis of sepsis is done on a monthly basis. The cases are abstracted using sepsis bundle criteria noting documentation of early recognition of severe sepsis or septic shock, and/or documentation of communication between the patient’s primary nurse and the respective physician to expedite care delivery.
  2. All cases meeting criteria for exemplary performance are reviewed by two Quality Improvement Specialists (QIS) who then select one case for recognition.
  3. The Sepsis Shout Out award is completed by the QIS and signed by the leadership team (Director and Chief Nurse Officer). The respective department director and unit manager are notified of the exemplary care their team member provided. 
  4. The Sepsis Shout Out award along with a signed thank you card from the quality management department plus a recognition points card is presented to the caregiver. A picture of the award recipient and the manager/director of the area is taken.
  5. The picture of the award recipient is shared at the sepsis committee monthly meeting and declaration of the exemplary practice is announced in the facilities safety huddle. Additionally, some units post the picture in their unit’s communication.

The Sepsis Shout Out Award has been in place for more than four months. The goal of recognizing those with exemplary performance has fostered prompt recognition and treatment for the patient with sepsis. This practice of recognition has been adopted at other facilities within our region and implemented within their process.

At CMC, the first award was given to an emergency department (ED) nurse that recognized an early change in condition, when the patient was getting progressively worse with the potential to become severely septic. During the abstraction process the reviewer noted: decrease in blood pressure, high heart rate and respiratory rate, leading to adult ED physician notification. This facilitated the physician to reassess the patient and immediately order the sepsis protocol. Being proactive and advocating for this patient improved the outcome and decreased the length-of-stay.

This award continues to be given to caregivers that recognize the progression of sepsis and notify a physician to accelerate implementation of the appropriate care. By recognizing caregivers when they are making a difference in patient care, there is an appreciation for all their hard work and commitment to evidenced-based practice. Initiation of the Sepsis Shout Out Award has led to increased spread of best practices for all patients with sepsis.

For more information, please contact Crystal Johnston, BS, RRT, Quality Improvement Specialist, Covenant Medical Center, Covenant Health/Providence St. Joseph Health, at