Date of Award

Fall 12-2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Nina Mclain

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Dr. Mary Jane Collins

Committee Member 2 Department



Severe sepsis is a leading cause of death in the United States and is the most common cause of death among critically ill patients in non-coronary intensive care units (Mayr, Yende, & Angus, 2014). The incidence of severe sepsis is estimated to be 300 cases per 100,000 population and cost an estimated $14 billion in the United States (Mayr et al., 2014). This Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project focused on identifying an early-assessment tool to identify sepsis and increase compliance when using the tool. Identifying sepsis early is important in starting a treatment plan to prevent morbidity and mortality.

For this project, a SWOT analysis was developed for the Modified Early Warning Score (MEWS) and the Quick Sequential Organ Failure System (QSOFA). This SWOT analysis and the research that was found was presented to staff in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) and Operating Room (OR). A pamphlet and in-service providing a description of QSOFA and MEWS were given to the nurses and also anesthesia providers. This in-service was presented during the monthly meeting that the staff conducts. A five-question survey was given after the in-service to the participants. This survey asked about the opinions and concerns of each tool. The participants had one week to complete the survey. The completed surveys were placed in a box located in the PACU and collected after one week. The data was then compiled and analyzed.

The sample size included six PACU nurses and six Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA). An overwhelming response was found in favor of the MEWS tool. The vast majority of staff stated that MEWS was more user-friendly, would increase compliance due to sepsis, and would be most likely to decrease morbidity and mortality due to sepsis when compared with the other tool.

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