Hundreds of thousands of cases of severe sepsis are seen in the U.S. each year, and this number continues to rise as people live longer. Elmhurst Hospital Center participated in developing the STOP (Strengthening Treatment and Outcomes for Patients) Sepsis Collaborative to develop protocols to support early detection and treatment of severe sepsis and septic shock in the Emergency Department, where such cases are often initially managed.
Two treatment protocols were developed based on evidence-based therapies, all providers received comprehensive sepsis education and training, and an easy-to-use severe sepsis screen was incorporated into their routine intake triage process. These combined efforts led to a 31% reduction in mortality over two years at no additional cost to the hospital. The overwhelming success realized in the Emergency Department spurred the development of similar protocols for other units in the hospital.