Delays in evaluation and escalation of needed care can compromise outcomes of the patient significantly and, in many cases, may lead to death. The assembly of a rapid response team would not only provide timely multidisciplinary evaluation of a potentially deteriorating patient, but it would also help reinforce the organization’s culture of collaboration and interprofessional support for safety.
Patients often exhibit signs of deterioration before experiencing the adverse event. The rapid response team’s timeliness in evaluation, coupled with the recommendations from multiple, interprofessional individuals, instead of solely the bedside nurse, would significantly prevent a plethora of adverse events and save financial resources. Specifically, the implementation of rapid response teams has been associated with reductions in cardiac arrests, inpatient deaths, and number of days in the hospital.
Many healthcare organisations have successfully implemented and sustained improvements with the advent of rapid response teams. These organizations have focused on projects that included establishing standardized calling criteria for both clinicians and patients and family members, and delineating roles and responsibilities for all upon rapid response team arrival.
This Patient Safety Movement Actionable Patient Safety Solutions (APSS) provides a blueprint that outlines the actionable steps organisations should take to successfully implement and sustain rapid response teams and summarises the available evidence-based practice protocols.