Septic shock: a multidisciplinary response team and weekly feedback to clinicians improve the process of care and mortality

Crit Care Med. 2011 Feb;39(2):252-8. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0b013e3181ffde08.


Objective: To evaluate the impact of weekly feedback to clinicians and the activation of a sepsis response team on the process of care and hospital mortality in patients with severe sepsis or septic shock.

Design: Prospective, interventional cohort study.

Setting: The medical intensive care unit of a tertiary, academic medical center.

Study subjects: Patients with severe sepsis or septic shock consecutively treated in a medical intensive care unit.

Interventions: Daily auditing and weekly feedback, and sepsis response team activation.

Measurements and main results: During a 33-month study period, from January 2007 through September 2009, we performed daily screening of patients for severe sepsis or septic shock. Study periods were divided into baseline (screening only), daily auditing with weekly feedback, and sepsis response team activation. Comparisons among the three periods were made by using univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses. Compliance with the overall sepsis resuscitation bundle and its individual elements and hospital mortality were used as outcome measures. A total of 984 episodes of severe sepsis and septic shock were identified during the study periods, severe sepsis in 52 (5.3%) and septic shock in 932 (94.7%). The compliance rate with all elements of the sepsis resuscitation bundle increased from 12.7% at baseline to 37.7% and 53.7% during the weekly feedback and sepsis response team activation periods, respectively (p < .001). Overall hospital mortality rate was 30.3%, 28.3%, and 22.0% during baseline, weekly feedback, and sepsis response team periods, respectively (p = .029). Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that the sepsis response team was associated with reduced risk of hospital death (odds ratio, 0.657; 95% confidence interval, 0.456-0.945; p = .023) whereas hepatic cirrhosis, hepatic failure, leukemia, multiple myeloma, transfer from the same hospital ward, do-not-resuscitate status at the recognition of severe sepsis/septic shock, and lactate level were associated with increased risk of death.

Conclusions: In septic shock, the activation of the sepsis response team in combination with weekly feedback increases the compliance with the process of care and reduces hospital mortality rate.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cohort Studies
  • Critical Care / methods
  • Critical Illness / mortality
  • Critical Illness / therapy
  • Feedback
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospital Mortality / trends*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sepsis / diagnosis
  • Sepsis / mortality
  • Sepsis / therapy
  • Shock, Septic / diagnosis
  • Shock, Septic / mortality*
  • Shock, Septic / therapy*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome