University Hospital in Salt Lake City: Preventing sepsis alert fatigue
From The Hospitalist: If they’re too infrequent, alerts can delay sepsis identification and treatment. If they’re too abundant, the alerts can overwhelm providers. Finding the sweet spot for sepsis alerts, QI leaders say, can require time, technology, patience – and sometimes trial and error.
University Hospital tweaked its Modified Early Warning System (MEWS), based on consultations with hospitalists, ICU physicians, and other providers about the appropriate thresholds for vital signs. The team also analyzed the number of alerts per week per unit and their sensitivity and specificity in detecting sepsis. For their MEWS scoring system, they sacrificed a bit of sensitivity to ensure that the number of alerts remained manageable.