BACKGROUND: We evaluated the clinical usefulness of the quick Sepsis-Related Organ Failure Assessment (qSOFA) score (based on the 2016 definition of sepsis) at intensive care unit admission in Korean patients with bacteremia. METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed clinical data from 236 patients between March 2011 and February 2016. In addition to the qSOFA, the Modified Early Warning score (MEWS) and systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) criteria were calculated. RESULTS: The patients' median age was 69 years, and 61.0% were male. Of the patients, 127 (53.8%) had a qSOFA score ≥2 points. They had significantly higher rates of septic shock, thrombocytopenia, and hyperlactatemia, and increased requirements for ventilator care, neuromuscular blocking agents, vasopressors, and hemodialysis within 72 hours after intensive care unit admission. They also had a significantly higher 28-day mortality rate. When analyzed using common thresholds (MEWS ≥5 and ≥2 SIRS criteria), patients with a MEWS ≥5 had the same results as those with a qSOFA score ≥2 (P < 0.05). However, patients with ≥2 SIRS criteria showed no significant differences. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that a qSOFA score ≥2 at admission is a useful screening tool for predicting disease severity and medical resource usage within 72 hours after admission, and for predicting 28-day mortality rates in patients with bacteremia. In addition, qSOFA scores may be more useful than SIRS criteria in terms of prognostic utility.