Impact of a multidisciplinary sepsis huddle in the emergency department

Am J Emerg Med. 2023 Feb:64:150-154. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2022.12.006. Epub 2022 Dec 5.


Background: Sepsis is a leading cause of death in hospitals requiring prompt recognition and treatment. The sepsis bundle is the cornerstone of sepsis treatment. Studies have evaluated the impact of a sepsis huddle on sepsis bundle compliance but not in sepsis identification.

Objective: Measure the effect of a multidisciplinary sepsis bedside huddle in the Emergency Department (ED) on sepsis identification and sepsis bundle compliance.

Methods: Retrospective, single-center, cohort study. Pre-huddle patients were identified via Best Practice Advisory (BPA) alert on the electronic medical record from 11/01/2019-3/31/2020. The post-huddle group were patients for whom a sepsis huddle was activated from 11/01/2020-3/31/2021.

Results: 116 patients met inclusion criteria and 15 were determined to not have sepsis for a total of 21 pre-huddle and 80 post-huddle patients. Comparing pre-post results, sepsis huddle increased code sepsis activation (10% vs 91%, p < 0.001); sepsis bundle compliance (24% vs 80%, p < 0.001); antibiotics within one hour (33% vs 90%, p < 0.001); culture within one hour (67% vs 95%, p < 0.001), order entry <30 min. (29% vs 86%, p < 0.001); and median order entry time (48 vs. 3 min, p < 0.001). Post-huddle, 80% of order entries were ≤ 20 min. Logistic regression predicting sepsis code found huddle to be the first predictor, (p < 0.0000005). Hour-1 bundle compliance was predicted by physician/physician assistant order ≤30 min (R2 = 0.36, p < 0.0000005).

Conclusion: Sepsis bedside huddle in the ED improves identification and sepsis bundle compliance. Results suggest increased order entry speed caused bundle improvement.

Keywords: Emergency Department; sepsis bundle; sepsis huddle.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cohort Studies
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sepsis* / drug therapy
  • Sepsis* / therapy


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents