Rapid response teams: do they make a difference?

Jenny Jolley, Heather Bendyk, Bonnie Holaday, Kristine A K Lombardozzi, Corinne Harmon
Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing: DCCN 2007, 26 (6): 253-60; quiz 261-2
Hundreds of lives are now being saved in hospitals across the country with the use of rapid response teams. These teams are composed of clinicians who bring critical care expertise to the patient bedside. The purpose of these teams is to assess and stabilize the patient, assist with communication among the interdisciplinary care providers, educate and support the staff caring for the patient, and assist with transfer of the patient if necessary. Research has shown that, with successful implementation of a rapid response team, the percent of codes and mortality rates decrease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of implementing a rapid response team at 1 medical center. The results from the study demonstrated a decrease in the percent of codes outside the critical care units. However, it did not show a decrease in overall mortality rates for the patients. Data review will continue as we strive to improve our overall mortality rates while maintaining a decrease in the amount of codes.

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