Purpose: This presentation highlights an innovative approach to centralized sepsis management of adult patients by APRNs across a multi-hospital system in South Florida.

Method: The Virtual Sepsis Unit (VSU) was created as part of the Evidence–Based Clinical Care Sepsis Council (EBCC). Via the Virtual Sepsis Unit (VSU), APRNs optimize and support emergency department and inpatient unit's adherence to Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sepsis guidelines. The VSU program leverages existing telemedicine intensive care unit (tele-ICU) infrastructure to harmonize sepsis management workflows across all Baptist Health hospitals.

Findings: In units with VSU intervention and or management, compliance to CMS SEP-1 criteria improved from below 50% to above 80%. These units also saw a reduction in length of stay, mortality and readmissions rates. Adherence to sepsis protocols and order bundles were also associated with improved compliance to CMS SEP-1 requirements. Close collaboration and communication with the VSU was also associate with improved adherence to CMS SEP-1 requirements.

Implications to Practice: Sepsis is associated with increased mortality, LOS, and costs. Healthcare systems are therefore motivated to reduce poor outcomes associated with a sepsis diagnosis. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) added sepsis to the growing list of diagnoses with reimbursement penalties. A streamlined, systematic and coordinated approach to sepsis management has been recommended as a best practice to achieve successful patient outcomes with improved adherence to CMS guidelines. The tele-ICU infrastructure provided the framework for the VSU, with access to all adult patient units system-wide provided a model of care that leveraged APRNs to enhance our approach to evidence-based sepsis management.

At the end of the session, the attendee will be able to: Describe the virtual sepsis unit role in workflows designed to manage sepsis cases in the emergency departments, medical surgical units, progressive care and critical care units Discuss the benefits and challenges associated with adherence to CMS Sepsis treatment guidelines Describe how centralized management of sepsis by APRNs improves outcomes.

Publication Date


Presented At:

14th Annual BHSF Research Conference

Content Type

Poster Presentation

Open Access

Available to all.