Rapid response: A quality improvement conundrum

Renata Prado, Richard K. Albert, Philip S. Mehler, Eugene S. Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Many in-hospital cardiac arrests and other adverse events are heralded by warning signs that are evident in the preceding 6 to 8 hours. By promptly intervening before further deterioration occurs, rapid response teams (RRTs) are designed to decrease unexpected intensive care unit (ICU) transfers, cardiac arrests, and inpatient mortality. While implementing RRTs is 1 of the 6 initiatives recommended by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, data supporting their effectiveness is equivocal. Before implementing an RRT in our institution, we reviewed cases of failure to rescue and found that (1) poor outcomes were often associated with attempts to manage early decompensations without a bedside evaluation, and (2) the common causes of decompensation for floor patients (early sepsis, aspiration, pulmonary embolism) were within the scope of our primary teams' practice. Therefore, we felt that prompt, mandatory bedside evaluations by the primary team would decrease untoward outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-257
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of hospital medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009


  • Patient safety
  • Quality improvement
  • Rapid response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Leadership and Management
  • Fundamentals and skills
  • Health Policy
  • Care Planning
  • Assessment and Diagnosis


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