Quality & Patient Safety

Colorado hospital evaluates "missed opportunities" in rapid response teams

Patient Safety Monitor, April 1, 2010

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Over the past five years, rapid response teams (RRT) have been brought to the forefront of American hospitals. In 2004, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) launched its 100,000 Lives Campaign of which RRTs were a focal point, and in 2008, The Joint Commission added a National Patient Safety Goal requiring hospitals to have a process to recognize and respond to patients who are deteriorating. Those requirements are now located in standards PC.02.01.19, HR.01.05.03, and PI.01.01.01.

Both of these initiatives sparked interest in RRTs among hospitals, especially at St. Anthony Central Hospital (SACH) in Denver, which began to develop its own RRT in conjunction with the IHI initiative.

However, in 2008, SACH officials began to notice a trend of patients who were meeting the criteria for RRT, but for a variety of reasons, the team was not called.

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