Building a Culture of Sepsis Excellence & Design Thinking: A New Paradigm to Solve Healthcare’s Wicked Problems

Session Descriptions: 

This activity includes two sessions from the Sepsis Alliance Summit to meet the minimum time requirement for nursing CE credits. 

Building a Culture of Sepsis Excellence

During this session, Dr. Jayaprakash and Ms. Schlacht will provide an overview of the approach they used to build a successful sepsis program at Henry Ford Health System. They will discuss the key challenges they faced and how they overcame them. Additionally, they will illustrate key drivers for building a sustainable culture of change within a large organization, for achieving sepsis excellence.

Design Thinking: A New Paradigm to Solve Healthcare’s Wicked Problems

In this session, Dr. Michael Ackerman will explore how design thinking can be applied to help organizations improve clinical outcomes by asking questions, engaging frontline workforce, and helping providers to solve challenges and achieve best practices around healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) and CMS sepsis bundle compliance.

This content was originally presented on 4/6/2022 as part of the Sepsis Alliance Leadership Conference.

Target Audience

Nurses, physicians, pharmacists, emergency responders, healthcare management teams, and other healthcare staff may benefit.

Learning Objectives

Building a Culture of Sepsis Excellence

At the end of the presentation, the attendee should be able to:

  • Describe a best-practices approach to building a sepsis program;
  • Identify key drivers of culture change for achieving sepsis excellence;
  • Summarize challenges to sustaining a sepsis program.

Design Thinking: A New Paradigm to Solve Healthcare’s Wicked Problems

  • Define what design thinking is; 
  • Describe how it can be applied to challenge assumptions and improve HAI and sepsis outcomes;
  • Commit to doing one thing differently to improve care in their facility.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.25 Participation
  • 1.60 RN CE Contact Hours
    Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP17068.
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Namita Jayaprakash, MB BcH BAO, MRCEM

Sepsis Program Physician Lead; Senior Staff Physician, Henry Ford Health System

Namita Jayaprakash, MB BcH BAO, MRCEM is a board-certified emergency medicine and critical care medicine physician based in Detroit, Michigan. She is passionate about enhancing sepsis care and early interventions in critical illness. She works to deliver her vision through her clinical practice in emergency medicine and medical intensive care, her commitment to process improvement, and her research. After graduating from University College Dublin in the Republic of Ireland, Dr. Jayaprakash completed a basic specialist training scheme in the Republic of Ireland and gained a competitive and esteemed Membership (by examination) to the Royal College of Emergency Medicine for the United Kingdom and Ireland. Following this, she completed an emergency medicine residency at Henry Ford Hospital and then a critical care fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She currently serves as a Senior Staff Physician at Henry Ford Hospital and Health System and as Clinical Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine at Wayne State University. In addition, she is the physician lead for the sepsis program in the Henry Ford Health System,  a five-hospital health system.


Suzanne Schlacht, RN, BSN

Sepsis Coordinator, Henry Ford Health System

Suzanne Schlacht RN, BSN is the Sepsis Coordinator for Henry Ford Hospital, an urban academic quaternary referral hospital in Detroit, Michigan. She graduated from Henry Ford Hospital School of Nursing in 1987 and earned her BSN at Ferris State University. She has over 35 years of experience in leadership, education, and process improvement in a variety of settings including the medical/surgical unit, the intensive care unit, and the emergency department.

During her 14 years in the emergency department, her drive for process improvement and patient care led her to the role of Lean Facilitator. As a member of the Lean team, she worked to improve throughput times, standardize workflow, and promote a culture of safety. Suzanne's contributions to process improvement as part of the Lean team led to two 'Focus on People Awards' at Henry Ford Hospital and the knowledge was presented at the International Safety Symposium in Detroit in 2011. As Sepsis Coordinator, she applies the knowledge and skills acquired as a clinician and Lean facilitator to engage staff while creating a culture that promotes sepsis awareness and best-practice care of patients with sepsis.

Michael Ackerman, DNS, RN, FCCM, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN

Professor of Clinical Nursing, Director of Master of Healthcare Innovation Program

Michael Ackerman is currently the Director of the Master in Healthcare Innovation degree program, a Professor of Clinical Nursing, and the Director of the Center for Healthcare Innovation and Leadership at the Ohio State University College of Nursing. He also maintains clinical practice as an acute care nurse practitioner at St Joseph’s Neighborhood in Rochester, NY. He is also the owner of Ackerman Consultants. Dr. Ackerman has held just about every position a nurse could hold in academia and clinical practice, from candy striper to senior director. His entire career has been dedicated to critical care with numerous publications and invitations to speak nationally and internationally. His research and writing have focused on a variety of clinical topics including sepsis, airway management, hemodynamics, innovation, and leadership. Dr. Ackerman’s innovation work has led to many disruptions in clinical practice and health system change. He has been recognized for his various contributions with fellowships including Fellow in Critical Care Medicine, Fellow in the National Academy of Practice, and Fellow in American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Dr. Ackerman completed his BSN from Niagara University, his MSN and DNS from The State University of New York at Buffalo, a post-master's certificate as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner from the University of Rochester, and is currently enrolled in a design thinking certificate program at Rochester Institute of Technology.


Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP17068 for 1.6 contact hours.

Other healthcare providers will receive a certificate of attendance for 1.25 contact hours.

Medical Disclaimer

The information on or available through this site is intended for educational purposes only. Sepsis Alliance does not represent or guarantee that information on or available through this site is applicable to any specific patient’s care or treatment. The educational content on or available through this site does not constitute medical advice from a physician and is not to be used as a substitute for treatment or advice from a practicing physician or other healthcare provider. Sepsis Alliance recommends users consult their physician or healthcare provider regarding any questions about whether the information on or available through this site might apply to their individual treatment or care.

Available Credit

  • 1.25 Participation
  • 1.60 RN CE Contact Hours
    Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP17068.
Please login or register to take this course.

This activity includes:

  • Pre-test
  • Slides
  • Pre-recorded webinar
  • Post-test
  • Evaluation

All components must be completed to earn a certificate of attendance. This course can be completed at your convenience.