To make the diagnosis, the doctor or nurse has to be thinking sepsis is a possibility and it is critical to get the right tests and treatments within a very short time frame. There are complicated steps that must be taken quickly and the entire hospital team (lab, pharmacy, transport, doctors and nurses) must act in a coordinated way to treat the patient with the right tests, antibiotics, and massive fluids. None of this happens without processes being put into place and that is where quality improvement teams come in.
It is so gratifying to see my clinical colleagues spending their precious time learning ways to improve the quality of care of our patients. No-one gets paid to go to these conferences and quality improvement takes a lot of time and effort. I believe our patients would be surprised to know how dedicated we are to improving hospital care and when a patient with sepsis is discharged to resume their normal life, how much teamwork went into that successful outcome.
Addendum: Although I like to refrain from politics on this blog, I couldn't help but contrast the selflessness of my colleagues today, focusing their precious time (for no pay) on improving patient care, with the shocking Tea Party GOP debate where Texan Ron Paul and his audience supporters believe a 30 year old should die in a hospital rather than have any government funded health care. It's every man for himself.