Patient Care

Rapid Response Teams Increase Perception of Education without Reducing Autonomy


Clinical question: Does the presence of a rapid response team (RRT) affect the perception of resident education and autonomy?

Background: Studies on the perception of RRTs, which can generally be activated by any concerned staff member, have been primarily limited to nurses. No studies to date have evaluated resident perception of the effects of RRTs on education or autonomy.

Study design: Survey study measure on a five-point Likert scale.

Setting: Moffitt-Long Hospital, a 600-bed acute care hospital and tertiary academic medical center of the University of California San Francisco.

Synopsis: Among 342 potential respondents, 246 surveys were completed, 10 of which were excluded due a lack of experience with RRTs. Overall, 78% of respondents felt that working with RRTs creates a valuable educational experience, though this was seen more commonly in the responses of medical residents (83.2%) than in those of surgical residents (70.4%). There was no significant difference between interns (82.9%) and upper-level residents (77.3%).

Additionally, 75.8% of respondents did not feel that the presence of an RRT decreased resident autonomy, and there was no statistically significant difference between the responses of interns (77.8%) and upper-level residents (76.8%), or between those of medical (79.9%) and surgical (71.2%) residents.

The survey design increases the risk of response bias, and the single-site nature limits generalizability. Additionally, no objective measurements of education or autonomy were evaluated.

Bottom line: The presence of RRTs is perceived as having educational value and is not perceived by residents as reducing resident autonomy.

Citation: Butcher BW, Quist CE, Harrison JD, Ranji SR. The effect of a rapid response team on resident perceptions of education and autonomy. J Hosp Med. 2015;10(1):8-12.

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