Mandatory education module, department champions facilitate adoption of new process for sepsis care
Getting the entire clinical staff on board with a new process for assessing and treating sepsis was a daunting task when administrators at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC, began the effort in April of 2012. However, by eliciting the assistance of department champions, and by mandating that everyone complete an online module that explains the new process, the transition to the new process was smooth. "We had a very strong expectation and we followed through," explains Catherine Messick Jones, MD, MS, associate chief medical officer, medical services.
There was some pushback, to be sure, particularly from specialists who insisted that they didn’t need the online training because of their expertise in sepsis care. "I told them that I was sure that they did know all about sepsis, but that they still needed to take the training because they needed to understand the system we put in place to help manage sepsis better," notes Jones.
The ED didn’t begin implementing a modified version of the protocol until April 2013, but adoption of the approach went smoothly in this environment as well. Howard Blumstein, MD, the director of the ED, attributes the success of the implementation to a robust education effort on the front end.
"If the nurses had had expectations about what the physicians would do that were unfulfilled or the physicians had had expectations of what the nurses would do that were unfulfilled, the whole thing would have fallen apart, so we did a lot of work trying to make sure everyone was on the same page," notes Blumstein.
Also instrumental to success was the way the new process was presented to physicians. "We sold it to the physicians on the basis that it would make things better for them," observes Blumstein, explaining that the Code Sepsis process really expedites their ability to care for the patient as opposed to the protracted, drawn out type of evaluation that a suspicion of sepsis typically requires. "That got a lot of people saying that yeah, this will be helpful to us."