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Critical Care Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 980369, 8 pages
Clinical Study

The Use of an Early Alert System to Improve Compliance with Sepsis Bundles and to Assess Impact on Mortality

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Newark, NJ 07112, USA

Received 17 June 2011; Revised 14 September 2011; Accepted 15 October 2011

Academic Editor: Roland M. Schein

Copyright © 2012 Jennifer Anne LaRosa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines, organized as sepsis bundles, have been shown to improve mortality, but timely and consistent implementation of these can be challenging. Our study examined the use of a screening tool and an early alert system to improve bundle compliance and mortality. Methods. A screening tool was used to identify patients with severe sepsis or septic shock and an overhead alert system known as Code SMART (Sepsis Management Alert Response Team) was activated at the physician’s discretion. Data was collected for 6 months and compliance with bundle completion and mortality were compared between the Code SMART and non-Code SMART groups. Results. Fifty eight patients were enrolled −34 Code SMART and 24 non-Code SMART. The Code SMART group achieved greater compliance with timely antibiotic administration ( ), lactate draw ( ), and steroid use ( ). Raw survival and survival adjusted for age, leucopenia, and severity of illness scores, were greater in the Code SMART group ( , , and ). Conclusions. A screening tool and an alert system can improve compliance with sepsis bundle elements and improve survival from severe sepsis and septic shock.