Frequently Asked Questions

Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes (IPSO) is a quality improvement collaborative of children’s hospitals addressing diagnosis and treatment across the hospital. IPSO aims to:

  • Reduce sepsis mortality
  • Reduce hospital-onset severe sepsis

By joining IPSO, your hospital will:

  • Prevent avoidable deaths from sepsis
  • Prevent escalation to severe sepsis in vulnerable patients
  • Identify all patients with sepsis risk
  • Recognize sepsis and sepsis risk earlier
  • Shorten ICU and hospitals stays
  • Improve sepsis resuscitation
  • Create effective sepsis response systems across the hospital

Participating hospitals are creating improvements at lower costs, more efficiently, and faster than any single hospital can achieve working independently. Your team will:

  • Improve sepsis outcomes
  • Learn proven sepsis recognition methods
  • Make sepsis episode data accessible and usable
  • Adopt EMR approaches proven effective in other IPSO hospitals
  • Solve small sample size/rare event problems
  • Implement what works and reduce trial and error
  • Reduce costs by sharing infrastructure, avoid design and development costs
  • Expand staff QI know-how and experience
  • Physicians earn maintenance of certification credit, nurses earn continuing education credit

A senior executive at your hospital will sign a letter of commitment, which outlines the scope of work and timeline. Participating hospitals commit to implement the collaborative’s diagnostic and care bundles and to submit monthly data across multiple settings. To achieve IPSO’s ambitious aims, plan to participate for three years. Email Patty Kohn for your letter of commitment.

Enrolled hospitals pay a fee based on number of staffed beds (including NICU) and have access to all program resources to support the work. Annual fees range from $10,000-$45,000 and are in addition to membership dues. Final enrollment date for the IPSO collaborative is June 30, 2021. New hospitals will begin mobilization July 1 as a cohort. No new hospitals will be added to the collaborative after June 30, 2021. The annual fee will be prorated through 2021. The full annual fee will be invoiced in January each year. Contact Patty Kohn to verify bed count and obtain exact fee.

Teams in these care settings should plan to participate now:

  • ED
  • PICU and CICU
  • Hematology/oncology
  • Bone marrow transplant units
  • General care units

NICU and pre-hospital units will participate in the next phase of the collaborative.

Once you sign the enrollment commitment, we will be in touch with your designated contact regarding orientation and mobilization. CHA provides a mobilization package and mobilization webinars with tools and information that will get you going on the work necessary for bundle implementation and data collection.

The collaborative supplies data infrastructure, resources such as trigger tools, training, coaching and a full menu of collaborator activities. Participating hospitals submit process and outcomes data to a shared database each month, and receive monthly analyses in charts and reports.

Data are collected for two patient populations: non-severe sepsis and severe sepsis/septic shock. Sources for the data elements may include the EMR, patient charts, MAR and lab data. The number of hospital admissions in a month is also collected.

  • For the non-severe sepsis patient population there are four core data elements (variables) about two care processes.
  • For the severe sepsis/septic shock patient population there are 18 variables describing a single patient episode of severe sepsis and/or septic shock. These variables relate to care processes and patient outcomes.
  • There are 26 optional variables that are useful for patient stratification and special analyses.

Process Measures:

  • Screening, trigger tool
  • Antibiotics (timing, appropriateness)
  • Fluids (timing)
  • Vasoactive agents
  • Treatment de-escalation

A note about IPSO sepsis definitions: Sepsis terminology can be a source of confusion. IPSO uses pragmatic criteria to approximate the sepsis continuum for purposes of quality improvement. For IPSO, severe sepsis and septic shock definitions align with the Goldstein terminology. The term non-severe sepsis aligns most closely with the existing Goldstein category of sepsis. The definition of non-severe sepsis is applied to patients where there is concern for the presence of an invasive infection at risk of progressing to severe sepsis or septic shock.

Data submission methods are flexible to minimize data burden. Hospitals can extract from the electronic medical record, use a web-based data capture system, or export data from REDCap or similar form-based applications. Analyses and reports are available through IPSO’s secure web portal.

A decision about Institutional Review Board (IRB) review is up to your local IRB. IPSO is a quality improvement initiative, so your IRB may grant a waiver for quality improvement work. Since IRB review may take time, consult with your IRB as soon as possible after you enroll.

Here’s a list of sepsis collaborative participating hospitals.

IPSO has been designed by a National Expert Advisory Committee of more than 60 individuals from 40 member hospitals, led by our national co-chairs:

  • Richard Brilli, M.D., FAAP, MCCM
  • Charles Macias, M.D., M.P.H.
  • Matthew Niedner, M.D.

Patty Kohn, 913-981-4187


Sepsis Collaborative

Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes (IPSO) is successfully challenging sepsis.