Date of Conferral



Doctor of Healthcare Administration, DHA


Health Services


Suzanne Richins


Sepsis is ranked as one of the leading causes of death among hospitalized patients in the United States. Early identification and treatment of sepsis according to time-sensitive evidence-based protocols is essential to improve outcomes. Existing sepsis research focused on fostering consensus on sepsis definitions and evidence-based treatment protocols; yet, the literature lacks prescriptive evidence regarding organizational structures that reduce patient mortality. The purpose of this quantitative study was to understand how a change in organizational infrastructure could influence the delivery of sepsis-focused care. Using Donabedian’s theoretical framework, the research questions for this study focused on an implementation of an Early Alert Team and the effect it had on sepsis-related mortality, time to antibiotic treatment, and compliance with sepsis bundles at the study site. The retrospective quantitative study was based on a secondary data analysis from a large community teaching hospital in Pennsylvania from May 2016 to December 2018. A total of 6,228 adult patients met sepsis inclusion criteria. Statistical analysis using chi-square revealed a statistically significant reduction in sepsis-related mortality and improved compliance with sepsis bundles; however, there was not a significant improvement in median time to antibiotic treatment. The study provided evidence regarding the affect sepsis has on patients’ lives the importance of standardizing treatment protocols and cultivating an innovative process that results in improved patient outcomes.