A rapid response team (RRT) is a multidisciplinary team frequently consisting of ICU-trained personnel who are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week for evaluation of patients not in the ICU who develop signs or symptoms of clinical deterioration. Paul J. Sharek, M.D., M.P.H., and colleagues evaluated whether RRT implementation was associated with decreases in hospital-wide mortality rates and code rates (respiratory and cardiopulmonary arrests) outside of the ICU in paediatric inpatients at an academic children’s hospital. A total of 22,037 patient admissions were evaluated pre-intervention, and 7,257 patient admissions were evaluated post-intervention.

A significant decrease of 18 percent occurred in the hospital-wide mortality rate after implementation of the RRT. The rate of codes outside of the ICU setting per 1,000 eligible admissions declined by 71.7 percent, with pre-intervention and post-intervention rates of 2.45 vs. 0.69, respectively. The rate of codes outside of the ICU per 1,000 eligible patient-days decreased by 71.2 percent after RRT implementation.

The RRT intervention, using statistical modelling, was associated with a decrease of 0.178 deaths per 100 discharges or 1.78 deaths per 1,000 discharges. During the 19-month post-intervention period, the RRT intervention is estimated to have resulted in 33 lives saved at this hospital.

“Implementation of an RRT in our free-standing, quaternary care academic children’s hospital was associated with statistically significant reductions in hospital-wide mortality rates and code rates outside of the ICU setting. These reductions cannot be explained by differences in patient characteristics or severity of illness between the control and post-intervention populations,” the authors write.

MEDICA.de; Source: American Medical Association (AMA)