Document Type

Quality Improvement/Patient Safety/Education Innovation

Date of Poster


Date of Submission

June 2020


Background: The Surviving Sepsis Campaign recommends initiating IV antibiotic administration within one hour of recognition of severe sepsis. Several studies have shown that prompt blood culture collection, administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics, and fluid resuscitation following recognition improves child survival.

Objective: Our goal was to evaluate effectiveness of sepsis initiatives and institutional changes in the timing of early antibiotic administration at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.

Methods: We formed a Pediatric Sepsis Committee with representatives from each unit in 2013. In 2016, the committee began tracking time from the order of a first stat dose IV antibiotic to administration as a marker of early treatment and reviewed data on a monthly basis with run charts for overall and unit-specific data. Other interventions included improved availability of antibiotics in automated dispensing machines, sepsis screening and alert systems, sepsis huddles, and auto-generated pages to charge nurses upon order of stat IV antibiotics. We included percent of stat antibiotics administered in less than one hour from order across all pediatric units since 2012.

Results: Across all units, the centerline of first dose stat antibiotics delivered within one hour improved from a baseline of 34% in 2012 to 76% in 2019. The NICU and PICU centerlines improved by 53% and 48%, respectively since 2012. The Pediatric ED improved from 66% in 2012 to 84% in 2016. The Acute Care Pediatrics (ACP) Unit centerline improved from 24% in 2012 to 50% in 2017.

Conclusion: Time from order to stat antibiotic administration has improved in all units receiving quality improvement initiatives. These improvements have been made possible by widespread emphasis on the dangers of untreated sepsis, multidisciplinary collaboration between nursing and physician staff, structural pharmacy changes and electronic alerts. Further studies are needed to determine impact on patient outcomes.


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VCU School of Medicine GME Resident and Fellow Research Day Posters

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