Quality improvement efforts in sepsis management have increased patients’ survival rates. Many sepsis survivors experience sequelae leading to unplanned hospital readmissions and subsequent mortality, especially when survivors delay seeking medical attention because they do not recognize the signs and symptoms of recurrent sepsis. Thus, increasing knowledge of sepsis among patients and caregivers before initial hospital discharge is essential.


To evaluate the understandability and actionability of a printable patient education tool on sepsis.


Ten sepsis experts were invited to evaluate and score the content of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Sepsis Fact Sheet for understandability and actionability using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool for printable material. Data were collected on 24 items via an electronic survey. Descriptive analysis included overall and understandability and actionability scores and measurement of interrater reliability. Items with discrepancies were reviewed.


Nine experts responded to the survey. Mean understandability (80.74), actionability (90.74), and overall (83.33) scores support the tool’s utility for patient education. Interrater reliability found fair-to-moderate agreement across survey items.


The Sepsis Fact Sheet provides useful patient information as evaluated using established recommendations for printed materials and expert content validation. Areas for improvement include providing a summary, modifying images, and simplifying language. Results may be useful for sepsis education and discharge teaching.

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