The widespread implementation of rapid response systems (RRS) has taken place despite mixed evidence regarding their effect on clinical outcomes. Proponents of RRS have argued that negative studies reflect failed implementation of RRS, rather than failure of the RRS concept itself. This article discusses the process of implementing an RRS at four pediatric hospitals in Canada, and stresses the importance of social marketing techniques, engagement of leadership, and establishment of standardized, measurable objectives. Successful implementation of the RRS has been achieved and has resulted in improved clinical outcomes. A related editorial discusses the challenges of implementing a significant cultural change such as an RRS in the complex hospital environment.