Clinical decision support systems are intended to improve patients’ care and outcomes, particularly when such systems are present at the point of care. Protocol Watch was developed as a bedside clinical decision support system to improve clinicians’ adherence to the Surviving Sepsis Campaign guidelines. This pre/post-intervention pilot study was done to evaluate the effect of Protocol Watch on compliance with 5 guidelines from the Surviving Sepsis Campaign.
Preintervention data on rates and time to complete the resuscitation and management bundles from the Surviving Sepsis Campaign and time to administer antibiotics were collected from intensive care units at 2 large teaching hospitals in the United States. Training on the Protocol Watch application was then provided to clinical staff in the units, and Protocol Watch was installed at all critical care beds in both hospitals. Data were collected on rates and time to completion for 5 Surviving Sepsis Campaign guidelines after installation of Protocol Watch, and univariate analyses were done to evaluate the effect of Protocol Watch on compliance with the guidelines.
Implementation of Protocol Watch was associated with significant improvements in compliance with the resuscitation bundle (P = .01) and decreased time to administer antibiotics (P = .006). No significant changes were achieved for compliance with the management bundle or time to complete the resuscitation or management bundles.
Clinical decision support systems such as Protocol Watch may improve adherence to the Surviving Sepsis Campaign guidelines, which potentially may contribute to reduced morbidity and mortality for critically ill patients with sepsis.