Using a Quality Improvement Approach to Engage Families in Emergency Room Sepsis Huddles

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Background:Interdisciplinary team huddles are a key component of the Sepsis Collaborative’s Recognition Bundle in the Emergency Department (ED). Family Engagement (FE) is essential to ensure best outcomes. Working with families as partners we co-produced a simulation-based training model including, clinical scenarios, family-centered competencies, and debriefs. This model engages family advisors who serve as coaches of standardized patients and interdisciplinary teams in an immersive learning experience.Objective:Apply our training model to standardize engagement of families during sepsis huddles in the ED.Methods:Using a quality improvement framework, we developed our key driver diagram (Fig. 1) and focused on development of standardized language as our first intervention to facilitate partnership with families during sepsis huddles. A succession of 6 improvement cycles were implemented (Fig. 2) with unique attending, nurse, and resident learner groups.Results:Based on family and clinician feedback (Fig. 3), the following standardized elements were developed: (1) explanation of sepsis huddle that invites families to partner and share concerns; (2) direct language to explain the term sepsis; (3) explanation of next steps, timeline, and confirmed point of contact. This language guided providers to engage more clearly and consistently.Conclusions:Our co-produced training approach resulted in the development of standardized language as 1 component to support Family Engagement in ED sepsis huddles. Clinicians shared that family feedback was essential in the creation of succinct, meaningful, and mutually engaging language. Though not measured in this intervention, clinicians shared the perception that this training improved efficiency and priority to engage families in huddles.

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