Physician and Nurse Champions Transform Sepsis Care at Sauk Prairie Healthcare
In 2017, Sauk Prairie Healthcare was attempting to meet demands of payers using different definitions and clinical criteria for sepsis. However, the sepsis care bundle measures were not being met.
A multidisciplinary improvement team was formed, including physician and nursing champions from emergency department and acute care units, leadership and ancillary departments. The team used data to understand variation in the process.
The clinical champions led the investigation, discussing opportunities to improve care with their peers. Changes started with clarifying the clinical definition for severe sepsis. The group then used small tests of change to improve workflows allowing for early identification of suspected sepsis, nurse protocols and a point-of-care tracking tool to initiate early testing and interventions.
The key to success included collaboration and robust communication. WHA Physician Improvement Advisor Robert Redwood, M.D., offered down-to-earth guidance through coaching with the improvement team and leading education offerings onsite for Sauk Prairie Healthcare’s providers and staff. Sauk Prairie Healthcare’s team also utilized multiple modes to communicate throughout the organization. They had peer-to-peer feedback on individual patients, discussed evidence-based practice at daily huddles, unit meetings and medical staff meetings, had project boards and offered many educational sessions.
The team made and sustained significant improvements to sepsis care with these efforts moving to top decile performance.
View Sauk Prairie Healthcare’s poster detailing this project at https://www.wha.org/2020-SPHC-SepsisPoster.pdf.
“Congratulations to Sauk Prairie Healthcare for being featured by the Wisconsin Hospital Association for their quality improvement work related to sepsis care. This work will clearly benefit patients in south central Wisconsin who value high-quality health care close to home."
- Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point)
“The quality improvement work conducted by Sauk Prairie Healthcare will continue to improve health care for patients in our district and throughout south-central Wisconsin. Thanks to Sauk Prairie Healthcare for developing quality models that deliver extraordinary health care.”
- Rep. Dave Considine (D-Baraboo)