Information for consumers - Sepsis Clinical Care Standard

The Sepsis Clinical Care Standard describes the health care that should be provided to patients with signs and symptoms of sepsis. It also addresses the care that should be provided in hospital and after discharge, including survivorship.

Indicators for the Sepsis Clinical Care Standard

Indicators have been developed to support monitoring of the care recommended in the Sepsis Clinical Care Standard. Clinicians and healthcare services can use the indicators to support local quality improvement activities.

Quality statement 7 – Care after hospital and survivorship

A patient who has survived sepsis receives individualised follow-up care to optimise functional outcomes, minimise recurrence, reduce rehospitalisation and manage the ongoing health effects of sepsis. This requires structured, holistic and coordinated post-discharge care and education that involves the patient, their family, carer, general practitioner and other clinicians.

Support and information are provided to the family or carer of a patient who has died from sepsis.

Quality statement 6 – Transitions of care and clinical communication

A patient with known or suspected sepsis has a documented clinical handover at transitions of care. This includes the provisional sepsis diagnosis, comorbidities, and the management plan for medicines and medical conditions. This information is provided to the patient, their family and carer as appropriate.

Quality statements - Sepsis Clinical Care Standard

The Sepsis Clinical Care Standard includes seven quality statements describing the key components of care that a patient presenting with signs and symptoms of sepsis should receive so that the risk of death or ongoing morbidity is reduced.

Quality statement 2 – Time-critical management

Sepsis is a time-critical medical emergency. Assessment and treatment of a patient with suspected sepsis are started urgently according to a locally approved clinical pathway, and their response to treatment is monitored and reviewed. The patient is reviewed by a clinician experienced in recognising and managing sepsis, and is escalated to a higher level of care when required.

Quality statement 1 - Could it be sepsis?

A diagnosis of sepsis is considered in any patient with an acute illness or clinical deterioration that may be due to infection. A clinical support tool that includes assessment of vital signs and lactate is used to help recognise sepsis early and escalate care when required.

Endorsements - Sepsis Clinical Care Standard

The standard has been endorsed by a number of key professional associations and health organisations. Its development was supported by the Sepsis Clinical Care Standard Topic Working group.

Quality statement 9 - Transfer of care

Planning for appropriate analgesic use at the transfer of care begins when a patient is started on an opioid analgesic during their hospital visit, according to an agreed opioid analgesic weaning and cessation protocol. The number of days’ supply of an opioid analgesic on discharge is based on multiple factors, including the expected course of the patient’s condition, appropriate arrangements for follow-up and opioid analgesic use in the last 24 hours before discharge.

Quality statement 8 - Review of therapy

During hospital care, a patient prescribed an opioid analgesic for acute pain is assessed regularly to determine their response to therapy and whether an opioid analgesic is effective and appropriate for their stage of care.

Quality statement 7 - Documentation

When a patient with acute pain is prescribed, supplied or administered an opioid analgesic, the intended duration of therapy, and the review and referral plan are documented in the patient’s healthcare record. The cause of the pain for which the opioid analgesic is prescribed is documented, including on the inpatient prescription.