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Additional Telemedicine Rounds as a Successful Performance-Improvement Strategy for Sepsis Management: Observational Multicenter Study.

Additional Telemedicine Rounds as a Successful Performance-Improvement Strategy for Sepsis Management: Observational Multicenter Study.

Additional Telemedicine Rounds as a Successful Performance-Improvement Strategy for Sepsis Management: Observational Multicenter Study.

J Med Internet Res. 2019 Jan 15;21(1):e11161

Authors: Deisz R, Rademacher S, Gilger K, Jegen R, Sauerzapfe B, Fitzner C, Stoppe C, Benstoem C, Marx G

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Sepsis is a major health care problem with high morbidity and mortality rates and affects millions of patients. Telemedicine, defined as the exchange of medical information via electronic communication, improves the outcome of patients with sepsis and decreases the mortality rate and length of stay in the intensive care unit (ICU). Additional telemedicine rounds could be an effective component of performance-improvement programs for sepsis, especially in underserved rural areas and hospitals without ready access to critical care physicians.
OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to evaluate the impact of additional daily telemedicine rounds on adherence to sepsis bundles. We hypothesized that additional telemedicine support may increase adherence to sepsis guidelines and improve the detection rates of sepsis and septic shock.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective, observational, multicenter study between January 2014 and July 2015 with one tele-ICU center and three ICUs in Germany. We implemented telemedicine as part of standard care and collected data continuously during the study. During the daily telemedicine rounds, routine screening for sepsis was conducted and adherence to the Surviving Sepsis Campaign's 3-hour and 6-hour sepsis bundles were evaluated.
RESULTS: In total, 1168 patients were included in this study, of which 196 were positive for severe sepsis and septic shock. We found that additional telemedicine rounds improved adherence to the 3-hour (Quarter 1, 35% vs Quarter 6, 76.2%; P=.01) and 6-hour (Quarter 1, 50% vs Quarter 6, 95.2%; P=.001) sepsis bundles. In addition, we noted an increase in adherence to the item "Administration of fluids when hypotension" (Quarter 1, 80% vs Quarter 6, 100%; P=.049) of the 3-hour bundle and the item "Remeasurement of lactate" (Quarter 1, 65% vs Quarter 6, 100%, P=.003) of the 6-hour bundle. The ICU length of stay after diagnosis of severe sepsis and septic shock remained unchanged over the observation period. Due to a higher number of patients with sepsis in Quarter 5 (N=60) than in other quarters, we observed stronger effects of the additional rounds on mortality in this quarter (Quarter 1, 50% vs Quarter 5, 23.33%, P=.046).
CONCLUSIONS: Additional telemedicine rounds are an effective component of and should be included in performance-improvement programs for sepsis management.

PMID: 30664476 [PubMed - in process]

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