Sustained effectiveness of a primary-team-based rapid response system

Michael D Howell, Long Ngo, Patricia Folcarelli, Julius Yang, Lawrence Mottley, Edward R Marcantonio, Kenneth E Sands, Donald Moorman, Mark D Aronson
Critical Care Medicine 2012, 40 (9): 2562-8

OBJECTIVE: Laws and regulations require many hospitals to implement rapid-response systems. However, the optimal resource intensity for such systems is unknown. We sought to determine whether a rapid-response system that relied on a patient's usual care providers, not a critical-care-trained rapid-response team, would improve patient outcomes.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PATIENTS: An interrupted time-series analysis of over a 59-month period.

SETTING: Urban, academic hospital.

PATIENTS: One hundred seven-one thousand, three hundred forty-one consecutive adult admissions.

INTERVENTION: In the intervention period, patients were monitored for predefined, standardized, acute, vital-sign abnormalities or marked nursing concern. If these criteria were met, a team consisting of the patient's existing care providers was assembled.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The unadjusted risk of unexpected mortality was 72% lower (95% confidence interval 55%-83%) in the intervention period (absolute risk: 0.02% vs. 0.09%, p < .0001). The unadjusted in-hospital mortality rate was not significantly lower (1.9% vs. 2.1%, p = .07). After adjustment for age, gender, race, season of admission, case mix, Charlson Comorbidity Index, and intensive care unit bed capacity, the intervention period was associated with an 80% reduction (95% confidence interval 63%-89%, p < .0001) in the odds of unexpected death, but no significant change in overall mortality [odds ratio 0.91 (95% confidence interval 0.82-1.02), p = .09]. Analyses that also adjusted for secular time trends confirmed these findings (relative risk reduction for unexpected mortality at end of intervention period: 65%, p = .0001; for in-hospital mortality, relative risk reduction = 5%, p = .2).

CONCLUSIONS: A primary-team-based implementation of a rapid response system was independently associated with reduced unexpected mortality. This system relied on the patient's usual care providers, not an intensive care unit based rapid response team, and may offer a more cost-effective approach to rapid response systems, particularly for systems with limited intensivist availability.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"