Severe sepsis and septic shock are global issues with high mortality rates. Early recognition and intervention are essential to optimize patient outcomes. Automated detection using electronic medical record (EMR) data can assist this process. This review describes automated sepsis detection using EMR data. PubMed retrieved publications between January 1, 2005 and January 31, 2015. Thirteen studies met study criteria: described an automated detection approach with the potential to detect sepsis or sepsis-related deterioration in real or near-real time; focused on emergency department and hospitalized neonatal, pediatric, or adult patients; and provided performance measures or results indicating the impact of automated sepsis detection. Detection algorithms incorporated systemic inflammatory response and organ dysfunction criteria. Systems in nine studies generated study or care team alerts. Care team alerts did not consistently lead to earlier interventions. Earlier interventions did not consistently translate to improved patient outcomes. Performance measures were inconsistent. Automated sepsis detection is potentially a means to enable early sepsis-related therapy but current performance variability highlights the need for further research.