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Kaiser Permanente's Performance Improvement System, Part 3: Multisite Improvements in Care for Patients with Sepsis

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Abstract:

Background: In 2008, Kaiser Permanente Northern California implemented an initiative to improve sepsis care. Early detection and expedited implementation of sepsis treatment bundles that include early goal-directed therapy (EGDT) for patients with severe sepsis were implemented.

Methods: In a top-down, bottom-up approach to performance improvement, teams at 21 medical centers independently decided how to implement treatment bundles, using a “playbook” developed by rapid cycle pilot testing at two sites and endorsed by a sepsis steering committee of regional and medical center clinical leaders. The playbook contained treatment algorithms, standardized order sets and flow charts, best practice alerts, and chart abstraction tools. Regional mentors and improvement advisers within the medical centers supported team-building and rapid implementation. Timely and actionable data allowed ongoing identification of improvement opportunities. A consistent approach to performance improvement propelled local rapid improvement cycles and joint problem solving across facilities.

Results: The number of sepsis diagnoses per 1,000 admissions increased from a baseline value of 35.7 in July 2009 to 119.4 in May 2011. The percent of admitted patients who have blood cultures drawn who also have a serum lactate level drawn increased from a baseline of 27% to 97% in May 2011. The percent of patients receiving EGDT who had a second and lower lactate level within six hours increased from 52% at baseline to 92% in May 2011.

Conclusion: Twenty-one cross-functional frontline teams redesigned processes of care to provide regionally standardized, evidence-based treatment algorithms for sepsis, substantially increasing the identification and risk stratification of patients with suspected sepsis and the provision of a sepsis care bundle that included EGDT.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2011

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  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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