Electronic alert may boost odds of black children receiving sepsis treatment

White pediatric emergency department patients were more likely to receive treatment for sepsis than black patients when there was no electronic alert to prompt clinicians to start treatment, a study published in the journal Pediatrics found.

Researchers analyzed 97,338 pediatric emergency department visits from June 1, 2016, to May 31, 2017. There were 56,863 visits from non-Hispanic black children and 23,008 visits from non-Hispanic white children.

They assessed activation of sepsis treatment, both when an electronic alert prompted clinicians to begin treatment and when clinician judgment alone initiated treatment.

When the electronic alert was not used, white patients were more likely than black patients to be treated for sepsis. When the alert was used, there was no difference in sepsis treatment initiation between the two groups.

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