Katelyn Hood

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



Committee Chair

Donna Guerra

Committee Member

Ryan McMorries


Geriatric nursing, Septicemia--Diagnosis, Septicemia--Prevention


Sepsis is defined as a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body’s immune system is overwhelmed by infection. This can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death with the most vulnerable population being those who are 65 years or older, have chronic comorbidities, have recent hospitalization, are immunocompromised, and have had a previous sepsis diagnosis. In diagnosing and treating sepsis promptly, clinical outcomes can be improved and limit the delay in diagnosis and treatment implementation. The purpose of this Doctor of Nursing Practice project was to use evidence-based practice to implement the Surviving Sepsis Campaign screening tool for patients 65 years or older to quickly identify sepsis and improve compliance with the sepsis core measures to the 60% benchmark as mandated by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. The setting for this Doctor of Nursing project was at Decatur Morgan Hospital Emergency Department and was focused on the geriatric population. Therefore, the targeted age group for this project was 65 years or older. A clinical practice change was implemented in the emergency department at Decatur Morgan Hospital to improve recognition of sepsis and compliance with the sepsis core measures in the selected group of patients. A face-to-face education class for all emergency department nurses was implemented, which included pre- and post-tests using Google Forms. Then the Surviving Sepsis paper screening tool was given to the emergency department nurses for implementation. A comparison of the pre- and post-education tests from all participants was obtained, along with a retrospective chart review on patients who had a diagnosis of severe sepsis or septic shock. Pre- and post-Surviving Sepsis Campaign screening tool implementation data were also examined. Although there was no significant improvement in compliance with the sepsis core measures, there was an increase in the perceived knowledge of sepsis among nursing staff. There was also a rise in the comfort level in identifying geriatric sepsis. In the final analysis, although the data did not reflect an uptrend as expected, the project was successful in identifying barriers that may hinder future efforts for improvement.

Available for download on Wednesday, June 11, 2025