Rationale: In 2013, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) began a mandatory state-wide initiative to improve early recognition and treatment of severe sepsis and septic shock.
Objectives: This study examines protocol initiation, 3-hour and 6-hour sepsis bundle completion, and risk-adjusted hospital mortality among adult patients with severe sepsis and septic shock.
Methods: Cohort analysis included all patients from all 185 hospitals in New York State reported to the NYSDOH from April 1, 2014, to June 30, 2016. A total of 113,380 cases were submitted to NYSDOH, of which 91,357 hospitalizations from 183 hospitals met study inclusion criteria. NYSDOH required all hospitals to submit and follow evidence-informed protocols (including elements of 3-h and 6-h sepsis bundles: lactate measurement, early blood cultures and antibiotic administration, fluids, and vasopressors) for early identification and treatment of severe sepsis or septic shock.
Measurements and main results: Compliance with elements of the sepsis bundles and risk-adjusted mortality were studied. Of 91,357 patients, 74,293 (81.3%) had the sepsis protocol initiated. Among these individuals, 3-hour bundle compliance increased from 53.4% to 64.7% during the study period (P < 0.001), whereas among those eligible for the 6-hour bundle (n = 35,307) compliance increased from 23.9% to 30.8% (P < 0.001). Risk-adjusted mortality decreased from 28.8% to 24.4% (P < 0.001) in patients among whom a sepsis protocol was initiated. Greater hospital compliance with 3-hour and 6-hour bundles was associated with shorter length of stay and lower risk and reliability-adjusted mortality.
Conclusions: New York's statewide initiative increased compliance with sepsis-performance measures. Risk-adjusted sepsis mortality decreased during the initiative and was associated with increased hospital-level compliance.
Keywords: implementation science; performance improvement; quality; sepsis.