Date of Award

Spring 3-2021

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Dr. Sheri Jacobson

Second Advisor

Dr. Greg Rodgers


Practice Problem: About 270,000 people die from sepsis every year, which is one person every 2 minutes, more than prostate cancer, breast cancer, and AIDS combined. It was identified that the organization had a good process in place for the treatment of severe sepsis but no process for early assessment of worsening symptoms of sepsis.

PICOT: The PICOT question that guided this project was: In adult inpatients (P), does the use of a nurse-driven sepsis screening tool (I) compared to not using a screening tool (C) affect early identification and treatment of sepsis (O) within an 8-week period (T)?

Evidence: Ten high-quality studies that met the inclusion criteria which supported using a nurse-driven sepsis identification tool, were identified. The evidence demonstrated utilizing the tool, education of staff, and integration of the tool into the Electronic Health Record were key factors for a successful project.

Intervention: Staff were trained on the Severe Sepsis Identification tool and utilized the tool in the EHR with the goal of reducing the number of patients developing severe sepsis when admitted to the hospital for any diagnosis.

Outcome: The evaluation of the outcome measures indicated that the number of patients who developed severe sepsis decreased from 12, pre-implementation to 1 post-implementation. The number of those patients for whom the physician was notified within 30 minutes which is the standard notification time for the organization for any change in patient condition improved from 19 pre-implementation to 27, post-implementation. Chi-square test showed a p-value of 0.001 demonstrating statistical significance in using the Severe-Sepsis Identification Screening tool to reduce the number of patients developing severe sepsis, whereas the p-value for physician notification times was 0.015 which revealed statistical insignificance in using the tool.

Conclusion: The implementation of a nurse-driven severe-sepsis identification tool for early identification of sepsis decreased the number of patients who developed severe sepsis and provided evidence for the clinical significance of the intervention.


Scholarly project submitted to the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice

Except where noted below, this scholarly project is released under Creative Commons CC-BY-4.0 license:

Severe Sepsis Identification Tool, © 2016 Gyang, Shieh, Forsey & Maggio, used with permission.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.