Evaluating Pediatric Sepsis Definitions Designed for Electronic Health Record Extraction and Multicenter Quality Improvement
Scott HF, Brilli RJ, Paul R, et al. Evaluating pediatric sepsis definitions designed for electronic health record extraction and multicenter quality improvement. Crit Care Med. 2020;48(10):e916-e926.
OBJECTIVES: To describe the Children's Hospital Association's Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes sepsis definitions and the identified patients; evaluate the definition using a published framework for evaluating sepsis definitions.
DESIGN: Observational cohort.
SETTING: Multicenter quality improvement collaborative of 46 hospitals from January 2017 to December 2018, excluding neonatal ICUs.
PATIENTS: Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes Sepsis was defined by electronic health record evidence of suspected infection and sepsis treatment or organ dysfunction. A more severely ill subgroup, Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes Critical Sepsis, was defined, approximating septic shock.
INTERVENTIONS: Participating hospitals identified patients, extracted data, and transferred de-identified data to a central data warehouse. The definitions were evaluated across domains of reliability, content validity, construct validity, criterion validity, measurement burden, and timeliness.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Forty hospitals met data quality criteria across four electronic health record platforms. There were 23,976 cases of Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes Sepsis, including 8,565 with Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes Critical Sepsis. The median age was 5.9 years. There were 10,316 (43.0%) immunosuppressed or immunocompromised patients, 4,135 (20.3%) with central lines, and 2,352 (11.6%) chronically ventilated. Among Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes Sepsis patients, 60.8% were admitted to intensive care, 26.4% had new positive-pressure ventilation, and 19.7% received vasopressors. Median hospital length of stay was 6.0 days (3.0-13.0 d). All-cause 30-day in-hospital mortality was 958 (4.0%) in Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes Sepsis; 541 (6.3%) in Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes Critical Sepsis. The Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes Sepsis definitions demonstrated strengths in content validity, convergent construct validity, and criterion validity; weakness in reliability. Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes Sepsis definitions had significant initial measurement burden (median time from case completion to submission: 15 mo [interquartile range, 13-18 mo]); timeliness improved once data capture was established (median, 26 d; interquartile range, 23-56 d).
CONCLUSIONS: The Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes Sepsis definitions demonstrated feasibility for large-scale data abstraction. The patients identified provide important information about children treated for sepsis. When operationalized, these definitions enabled multicenter identification and data aggregation, indicating practical utility for quality improvement.