Code Sepsis: Pilot Program

Submitted by Esther Allmond, DOR, The Cove at La Jolla, CA

The Cove volunteered to be a pilot site and is now entering their 3rd month for the EPIC program: CODE SEPSIS. Dr. Pouya Afshar handpicked our facility to trial this pilot program to help prevent sepsis in-house by carefully monitoring vitals throughout the day. Throughout this time, we have gained a new appreciation and respect for taking vitals before, during and after therapy treatment sessions. Rehab has taken a more active role in vital signs at The Cove, and I just wanted to share with all of you a little bit more about EPIC, CODE SEPSIS, and our current protocol at our facility.

EPIC (Excellence in Programming and IDT Care): Programs dedicated to taking IDT action with a QAPI approach in order to provide the most excellent care possible for our patients.

CODE SEPSIS MISSION: Early identification of sepsis to improve patient outcomes.

WHY: Sepsis is the leading cause of readmissions to the hospital in 2019 (20% of Medicare readmission!). With every hour that treatment is delayed for sepsis, the mortality rate increases by 8%.

CODE SEPSIS PROTOCOL: Taking vital signs early and often for each of Dr. Afshar’s patients. Nurses take vital signs Q shift (or more often). and therapists take vital signs before each treatment session and enter it into PCC. Notify charge nurse immediately with any one of the following triggers:
1. Temp > 99.5F
2. SBP < 100
3. HR > 90

• Clinician identifies patient meeting criteria (initiation, time stamp)
• Notify charge nurse (5 minutes)
• Verify/repeat vitals (5 minutes)
• Nurse activates code (5 minutes)
• Code team clinician contacts on call MD/NP (5 minutes)
• Response back from on call MD/NP (10 minutes)
• Total time spent: 30 minutes
• Reassess at the end of each 30-day cycle
• Duration of phase 1: 90 days

CODE SEPSIS was triggered several times in the past two months, allowing us to implement interventions in a timely manner and preventing re-hospitalization for our patients! As we close the last 30 days of Phase 1, we hope to remain consistent and vigilant in monitoring vital signs for our patients, providing the most EXCELLENT care possible for patients and improving outcomes. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time if you have any questions, comments, feedback, or interest in implementing CODE SEPSIS at your own facilities!