The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2009 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

HOW A MEDICAL EMERGENCY TEAM HAS INCREASED THE VALUE OF THE RESPIRATORY CARE PRACTITIONER IN A LARGE MEDICAL CENTER

Stephanie Stanley, Julie McKinney; Respiratory Care Department, Charleston Area Medical Center, Charleston, WV

Background: The Medical Emergency Team (MET) was implemented at Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) Memorial Hospital, in August 2006. The initiative was to prevent unstable patient events outside of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). CAMC Memorial Hospital is a 424-bed facility, primarily focusing on cardiac, respiratory, and oncology services. CAMC Memorial Hospital is one of three teaching hospital campuses under the CAMC umbrella, totaling 893 beds. Method: The MET was developed to intervene in impending medical emergencies with the goal of decreasing mortality rates in non-ICU patient areas. The MET is comprised of a Registered Respiratory Care Practitioner (RCP) and an ICU Registered Nurse (RN). The team is notified by a paging system, which is activated by any health care professional or family member. The team provides treatment/assistance to the patient, following protocols specifically developed to be utilized in the absence of a physician. All MET calls are tracked electronically through the electronic medical record (EMR). Results: When the program began in August 2006, there were 7 MET calls. The target/ goal was 23 calls per month. From August 2007 to August 2008, the average number of MET calls was 40.79 per month. Of these calls, 40.6% were respiratory problems. The other reasons for the calls were cardiac (27.3%), neuro (19.1%), and medical (13.0%). The total number of non-ICU codes for 2006 were 93, and for 2008 were 70. From 2007 to 2008, there was a decrease in non-ICU codes of 25.5%. Conclusion: From the beginning of implementation in August of 2006 to present, the Respiratory Care Services MET responsibilities have grown tremendously. We have gone from just responding to calls to fulltime staff for scheduled patient rounds, as well as calls. We continue to add responsibilities to the team and provide continuing education for advance assessment skills. We are continually looking at different diagnoses to target patients for early intervention. The MET has had a positive response throughout the medical center. Sponsored Research - None

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