Date of Graduation

Winter 12-15-2017

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


Sepsis is a life threatening medical emergency that if left untreated could ultimately lead to death. It is defined as the body’s extreme response to infection which can rapidly worsen if not identified and managed quickly. As sepsis worsens, it leads to extended hospital stays, poor patient prognoses and increased hospital costs. In an effort to combat these negative outcomes, efficient protocols must be implemented hospital wide. A 5 P’s microsystem assessment was preformed to assess the purpose, patients, professionals, processes and patterns. Additionally, assessments were conducted to collect baseline nursing knowledge regarding sepsis criteria, treatment, and hospital protocol. A root cause analysis was used to identify any discrepancies in compliance with completing the sepsis screening in a timely manner, expose contributing factors in sepsis treatment delays, and ensure the sepsis process map is reflective of hospital policy and easy to follow. To confirm nurses were correctly documenting the sepsis screening within the correct timeframe, the surveyors, under the direction of the Sepsis Committee Director, developed a Sepsis Screening Observation Checklist to observe the nurses on the unit and determine if it was completed. A chart audit was conducted as well and looked at 100 patient’s sepsis screenings in five different units for both morning and evening shift. Finally, a nursing questionnaire was handed out to assess their baseline knowledge of sepsis and the hospital protocol regarding sepsis treatment. Results demonstrated vital signs are reported to the nurse only 50% of the time, the greatest contributor to delays in treatment of sepsis are the labs, and only 38% of nurses feel adequate educational resources regarding sepsis are provided for them. This provided an arena for development with both clinical nursing knowledge, and overall process improvement.