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A sepsis trigger tool reduces time to antibiotic administration in the NICU.

OBJECTIVE: Prolonged time to antibiotic administration is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Interventions to decrease the time to antibiotic administration may improve mortality and morbidity.

STUDY DESIGN: We identified possible change concepts for reducing time to antibiotic usage in the NICU. For the initial intervention, we developed a sepsis screening tool based on NICU-specific parameters. The main goal of the project was to reduce time to antibiotic administration by 10%.

RESULTS: The project was conducted from April 2017 until April 2019. There were no missed cases of sepsis in the project period. Time to antibiotic administration for patients who were started on antibiotics decreased during the project, with the mean shifting from 126 to 102 min, a reduction of 19%.

CONCLUSIONS: We successfully reduced time to antibiotic delivery in our NICU using a trigger tool to identifying potential cases of sepsis in the NICU environment. The trigger tool requires broader validation.

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