Identifying and treating sepsis in older people: a quality improvement project in hospitals and nursing homes in Texas
Evidence and practice    

Identifying and treating sepsis in older people: a quality improvement project in hospitals and nursing homes in Texas

Kristine Calderon Researcher, TMF Health Quality Institute, Tampa, Florida, US
Erin Van Landingham Proposal manager, TMF Health Quality Institute, Austin, Texas, US
Susan Purcell Project director, TMF Health Quality Institute, Austin, Texas, US
Marlene Kennard Manager, TMF Health Quality Institute, Austin, Texas, US

Why you should read this article:
  • To refresh your knowledge of the high mortality risk associated with sepsis, especially in older people

  • To enhance your awareness of the need for ongoing sepsis education for nursing staff

  • To read about strategies and interventions for improving the identification and treatment of sepsis

Sepsis, if not identified and treated early, can be fatal, particularly in older people. A lack of knowledge and understanding of sepsis among nursing staff can result in a missed or delayed diagnosis, leading to delayed treatment and potentially to patient death. A quality improvement project was conducted in nine hospitals and 200 nursing homes in the Lower and Upper Rio Grande Valley regions of Texas, in the US, to improve the identification and treatment of sepsis by nursing staff. Interventions included educational webinars for hospital staff and train-the-trainer sessions for nurse leaders in nursing homes. All participating hospitals had implemented a sepsis screening tool and sepsis care bundles by the end of the project, and an overall decline in sepsis mortality rates was seen in these hospitals. Among participating nurse leaders in nursing homes, a dramatic improvement in sepsis knowledge was seen. The outcomes of the project support the use of comprehensive nursing staff education on sepsis identification and treatment. Sepsis education needs to be ongoing to maintain optimal levels of knowledge among nursing staff.

Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2021.e1308

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

kris.calderon@tmf.org

Conflict of interest

None declared

Calderon K, Van Landingham E, Purcell S et al (2021) Identifying and treating sepsis in older people: a quality improvement project in hospitals and nursing homes in Texas. Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2021.e1308

Published online: 10 February 2021

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