Author ORCID Identifier


Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Health Related Sciences

First Advisor

Jonathan P. DeShazo, PhD


The aim of this study is to examine the impact of a cloud-based CDS alerting system for SIRS, a precursor to sepsis, and sepsis itself, on adult patient and process outcomes at VCU Health System. The two main hypotheses are: 1) the implementation of cloud-based SIRS and sepsis alerts will lead to lower sepsis-related mortality and lower average length of stay, and 2) the implementation of cloud-based SIRS and sepsis alerts will lead to more frequent ordering of the Sepsis PowerPlan and more recording of sepsis diagnoses. To measure these outcomes, a pre-post study was conducted. A pre-implementation group diagnosed with sepsis within the year leading up to the alert intervention consisted of 1,551 unique inpatient visits, and the three-year post-implementation sample size was 9,711 visits, for a total cohort of 11,262 visits. Logistic regression and multiple linear regression were used to test the hypotheses. Study results showed that sepsis-related mortality was slightly higher after the implementation of SIRS alerts, but the presence of sepsis alerts did not have a significant relationship to mortality. The average length of stay and the total number of recorded sepsis diagnoses were higher after the implementation of both SIRS and sepsis alerts, while ordering of the Sepsis Initial Resuscitation PowerPlan was lower. There is preliminary evidence from this study that more sepsis diagnoses are made as a result of alert adoption, suggesting that clinicians can consider the implementation of these alerts in order to capture a higher number of sepsis diagnoses.


©Janet A. Zink

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