“There were a surprising number of models and variables we had to look at, such as streamlining lab results, getting test results to the bedside faster, and getting emergency boxes with the right pharmaceuticals on each unit,” adds Dr. Lee.
One interesting twist was Oakwood’s inclusion of hospitalists from private hospital medicine groups on the RRT. “Involving both community-based and academic medicine hospitalists has fostered a culture of inclusiveness, and that works,” says Dr. Lee. His final word: “We can’t leave our patients on the edge of the quality chasm. For not a lot of money, an RRT can help us help someone survive a code blue, and beat the odds that only 17% of code blues live to be discharged from the hospital.”
As the HELPS team continues on its two-year journey to better patient safety, the hospitalists will share what works, what doesn’t work, and what obstacles need to be removed. Overall, though, the HELPS’ vision that a small number of hospitalists joining together can have a huge effect on the care of upward of 80,000 patients has already succeeded. TH
Marlene Piturro is a frequent contributor to The Hospitalist.