Purpose: To evaluate whether a multifaceted, centrally coordinated quality improvement program in a network of hospitals can increase compliance with the resuscitation bundle and improve clinical and economic outcomes in an emerging country setting.
Methods: This was a pre- and post-intervention study in ten private hospitals (1,650 beds) in Brazil (from May 2010 to January 2012), enrolling 2,120 patients with severe sepsis or septic shock. The program used a multifaceted approach: screening strategies, multidisciplinary educational sessions, case management, and continuous performance assessment. The network administration and an external consultant provided performance feedback and benchmarking within the network. The primary outcome was compliance with the resuscitation bundle. The secondary outcomes were hospital mortality, hospital and ICU length of stay, quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gain, and cost-effectiveness.
Results: The proportion of patients who received all the required items for the resuscitation bundle improved from 13% [95% confidence interval (CI) 8-18%] at baseline to 62% (95% CI 54-69%) in the last trimester (p < 0.001). Hospital mortality decreased from 55% (95% CI 48-62%) to 26% (95% CI 19-32%, p < 0.001). Full compliance with the resuscitation bundle was associated with lower risk of hospital mortality (propensity weighted corrected risk ratio 0.74; 95% CI 0.56-0.94, p = 0.02). There was a reduction in the total cost per patient from 29.3 (95% CI 23.9-35.4) to 17.5 (95% CI 14.3-21.1) thousand US dollars from baseline to the last 3 months (mean difference -11,815; 95% CI -18,604 to -5,338). The mean QALY increased from 2.63 (95% CI 2.15-3.14) to 4.06 (95% CI 3.58-4.57). For each QALY, the full compliance saves US$5,383.
Conclusions: A multifaceted approach to severe sepsis and septic shock patients in an emerging country setting led to high compliance with the resuscitation bundle. The intervention was cost-effective and associated with a reduction in mortality.