Deployment of rapid response teams by 31 hospitals in a statewide collaborative.
Rapid response teams (RRTs) have been strongly endorsed by organizations including the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, largely based on early results that showed impressive benefits (although later studies were less positive). This study describes RRT programs in hospitals participating in a statewide collaborative that was established to help implement, evaluate, and sustain RRTs at acute care hospitals. Of the 56 hospitals in the collaborative, 31 hospitals responded to the survey, yielding a response rate of 55%. The authors describe the different organizational characteristics and RRT structures at these hospitals. Most of the teams included a critical care nurse and respiratory therapist. About 30% had a hospitalist and 23% reported the presence of a dedicated RRT nurse. Some best practices for safety, process improvement, and oversight were lacking in many of the programs. A prior AHRQ WebM&M perspective explored early lessons from RRTs.