From the Desk of Karen Newhouser, RN, BSN, CCM, CCDS, CCS, CDIP


I felt compelled to write to you after a very busy week of discussions regarding the publication of new sepsis and septic shock guidelines that no doubt you have read or at the least, are aware of.

On February 23, 2016, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a paper titled, Third International Consensus Definition for Sepsis and Septic Shock (Sepsis-3). This resulted from a 19-member joint task force of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) and European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM).

This is highly significant and will undoubtedly affect clinical practice regarding the identification of sepsis as well as affect the documentation and clarification of sepsis and septic shock as clinical and hospital leaders, along with clinical documentation improvement, coding, and quality departments continue to gather facts and discuss the new definitions.

As you may be aware, I am a member of the ACDIS Advisory Board and there has been considerable discussion regarding these guidelines, and I have no doubt that the conversations will continue as we reach out to clinical and regulatory leaders for input. ACDIS is preparing a preliminary statement, which you can look forward to receiving.

Know that everyone is at the same point as we all strive to determine how Sepsis-3 will fit into the coding guidelines in the United States.

Each facility will be tasked with ultimately determining its own course regarding the Sepsis-3 guidelines, and as an employee of MedPartners, you are reminded to follow your workplace decisions. That being said, I encourage you, as the experts in your profession, to read and absorb the source article, as you may be called upon for input as the facility develops its own guidelines surrounding Sepsis-3.

The link has been provided below, but if you find yourself without the link at some point, know that you can access this publication, as well as more articles regarding Sepsis-3 for free on the JAMA website.

With best regards,

Karen Newhouser, RN, BSN, CCM, CCDS, CCS, CDIP
MedPartners University (MPU) Educator