A Multicenter Survey of House Staff Knowledge About Sepsis and the “Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines for Management of Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock”

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Background:We aimed to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of resident physicians regarding sepsis in general and the Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines in particular.Methods:After institutional review board approval, we surveyed internal medicine (IM) and emergency medicine (EM) house staff from 3 separate institutions. House staff were notified of the survey via e-mail from their residency director or chief resident. The survey was Internet-based (using http://www.surveymonkey.com), voluntary, and anonymous. The Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines were used to develop the survey. The survey was open between December 2015 and April 2016. No incentives for participation were given. Reminder e-mails were sent approximately every 3 to 4 weeks to all eligible participants. Comparisons of responses were evaluated using the N-1 2-proportion test.Results:A total of 133 responses were received. These included 84 from IM house staff, 27 from EM house staff, and 22 who selected “other.” Eighty (101/126) percent reported managing at least 1 patient with sepsis in the preceding 30 days, 85% (97/114) rated their knowledge of the Surviving Sepsis Guidelines as “very familiar” or at least “somewhat familiar,” and 84% (91/108) believed their training in the diagnosis and management of sepsis was “excellent” or at least “good.” However, 43% (47/108) reported not receiving any feedback on their treatment of patients with sepsis in the last 30 days, while 24% (26/108) received feedback once. Both IM and EM house staff received comparable rates of feedback (62% vs 48%, respectively; P = .21). For the 3 questions that directly tested knowledge of the guidelines, the scores of the IM and EM house staff were similar. Notably, <20% of both groups correctly identified diagnostic criteria for sepsis.Conclusion:Additional education of IM and EM house staff on the Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines is warranted, along with more consistent feedback regarding their diagnosis and management of sepsis.

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