Patient Care

Novel Rapid Response Team Can Decrease Non-ICU Cardiopulmonary Arrests, Mortality


Clinical question: Can novel configured rapid response teams (RRTs) improve non-ICU cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) and overall hospital mortality rate?

Background: RRTs are primarily executed in hospital settings to avert non-ICU CPA through early detection and intervention. Prevailing evidence has not shown consistent clear benefit of RRTs in this regard.

Study design: A parallel-controlled, before-after design.

Setting: Two urban university hospitals with approximately 500 medical/surgical beds.

Synopsis: Researchers compared annual non-ICU CPA rates from two university hospitals with newly configured RRTs (implemented in November 2007) from July 2005 through June 2011 and found a decline in the incidence of non-ICU CPA to 1.1 from 2.7 per 1000 discharges (P<0.0001) while comparing pre- (2005/2006 to 2006/2007) to post- RRT implementation (2007-2011), respectively. Post-implementation, the overall hospital mortality dropped to 1.74% from 2.12% (P<0.001). With year-over-year, the RRT activation was found to be inversely related to Code Blue activations (r=-0.68, P<0.001), while the case mix index coefficients were still high.

The study lacks internal validation and may carry bias by including just one pre-implementation year (2006) data. It demonstrates that the rounding of unit manager (charge nurse) on “at risk” patients might avert decompensation; however, there was no determination of their decision-making process, with regard to RRT activation. No comparison was done with other RRT configurations.

Bottom line: Novel configured RRTs may improve non-ICU CPA and overall hospital mortality rate.

Citation: Davis DP, Aguilar SA, Graham PG, et al. A novel configuration of a traditional rapid response team decreases non-intensive care unit arrests and overall hospital mortality. J Hosp Med. 2015;10(6):352-357.

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