The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2006 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

A survey of Rapid Response Team (RRT) PARTICIPANTS rePORTs success BY ALL TEAM MEMBERS

Sarah Mortell, RRT, Michael R. Jackson, RRT-NPS, CPFT, Paul F. Nuccio, RRT, FAARC.  Department of Respiratory Care, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

Introduction:  The Rapid Response Team is a small group of clinicians who bring critical care expertise to the patient's bedside (or wherever it is needed).  The RRT is one of the interventions recommended by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) as part of their 100K Lives Campaign. Most rapid response teams are comprised of a Registered Respiratory Therapist, a Critical Care Nurse, and a Physician. The introduction of Rapid Response Teams has become popular nationwide over the past couple of years. 

Hypothesis:  Participants will view the function of a rapid response team as a valuable asset in the care of patients who are at risk of developing clinical complications to their present illness.

Methods:  A survey was sent by email to all respiratory therapists, nurses, and physicians who participated in rapid response team calls during a four-month pilot. The respondents filled out the survey online, and the data was entered into an excel file that kept track of each respondent's answers.

Results:  Of 149 total surveys received, 105, or 70%, were completed correctly and returned.  85% of nurses responded to the survey, as did 80% of respiratory therapists and 53% of the physicians (fig. 1). 93% of all respondents rated the RRT call as "appropriate" or "very appropriate". 38% of those that felt the RRT was not appropriate cited the reason to be that either the "patient did not meet the criteria" or the "patient was already receiving sufficient care". 80% of respondents stated that they found the care provided by the RRT to be "beneficial" or "very beneficial". Of those responding to the survey, 86% stated that the RRT notification process operated "seamlessly".

Conclusion:   In the eyes of the clinician, the Rapid Response Team is an effective method of bringing expert clinicians to the bedside in a rapid and effective manner.  This early identification and intervention program may help to reduce complications resulting from last-minute attempts at providing emergency care. It may also result in a reduction in the number of patients requiring transfer to an ICU.

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