In Situ Simulation for Adoption of New Technology to Improve Sepsis Care in Rural Emergency Departments

Emilie S. Powell, William F. Bond, Lisa T. Barker, Kimberly Cooley, Julia Lee, Andrew L. Vincent, John A. Vozenilek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The aims of the study were to evaluate whether in situ (on-site) simulation training is associated with increased telemedicine use for patients presenting to rural emergency departments (EDs) with severe sepsis and septic shock and to evaluate the association between simulation training and telehealth with acute sepsis bundle (SEP-1) compliance and mortality. Methods: This was a quasi-experimental study of patients presenting to 2 rural EDs with severe sepsis and/or septic shock before and after rollout of in situ simulation training that included education on sepsis management and the use of telehealth. Unadjusted and adjusted analyses were conducted to describe the association of simulation training with sepsis process of care markers and with mortality. Results: The study included 1753 patients, from 2 rural EDs, 629 presented before training and 1124 presented after training. There were no differences in patient characteristics between the 2 groups. Compliance with several SEP-1 bundle components improved after training: antibiotics within 3 hours, intravenous fluid administration, repeat lactic acid assessment, and vasopressor administration. The use of telemedicine increased from 2% to 5% after training. Use of telemedicine was associated with increases in repeat lactic acid assessment and reassessment for septic shock. We did not demonstrate an improvement in mortality across either of the 2 group comparisons. Conclusions: We demonstrate an association between simulation and improved care delivery. Implementing an in situ simulation curriculum in rural EDs was associated with a small increase in the use of telemedicine and improvements in sepsis process of care markers but did not demonstrate improvement in mortality. The small increase in telemedicine limited conclusions on its impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-309
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Patient Safety
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022


  • emergency medicine
  • in situ simulation
  • rural medicine
  • sepsis
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Leadership and Management


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