Will the development of a sepsis pre-alert handover tool improve communications between paramedics and nurses thus improving compliance with the sepsis six?
(2015) Will the development of a sepsis pre-alert handover tool improve communications between paramedics and nurses thus improving compliance with the sepsis six?, no. 90.
Background Sepsis continues to be the primary cause of death due to infection (Robson et al. 2013) and over the last decade, its occurrence has been rising significantly by 8-13% annually. It is estimated that around 37,000 lives are taken each year due to sepsis, this is more than breast and bowel cancer combined (Sepsis Trust 2014). The occurrence of sepsis in the community setting is increasing and studies demonstrate that 40-81% of septic patients arrive to the emergency department (ED) by ambulance (Seymour et al. 2012, Studnek et al. 2012, Gray et al. 2013). However, several studies have highlighted the clinical handover between paramedics and nurses to be inadequate as no standardised process has been implemented. This is leading to poor professional relationships, lack of trust and respect, increased time to treatment and most importantly increased risk to patient safety (Owen et al. 2009, Jenkin et al. 2007., Carter et al 2009.,Evans et al. 2010., Ye et al. 2007 and Fitzpatrick et al. 2014). The Surviving Sepsis Campaign (SSC) was launched in 2002 in recognition of the severity of sepsis and its rapid progression to severe sepsis and septic shock. They developed international guidelines for treating a septic patient. These global standards have been proven to improve patients' mortality and outcome (Dellinger et al. 2012). In conjunction with this, recent studies have verified that ED's are failing to comply with the SSC International guidelines. Poor clinical handovers and noncompliance with guidelines places the patient in a high risk situation. The initial step to improving sepsis care is solving the issue of miscommunication between paramedics and nurses as a patients care pathway begins with the clinical handover (CEM 2012, Sivayoham 2007, McNeil et al 2008, Boon et al 2013).