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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Effect of a rapid response team on hospital-wide mortality and code rates outside the ICU in a children’s hospital.

Sharek PJ, Parast LM, Leong K, et al. JAMA. 2007;298:2267-74.

Despite existing controversy over their reported benefits, implementation and endorsement of rapid response teams (RRTs) remains widespread. This study demonstrated significant reductions in hospital-wide mortality and code rates after implementation of an RRT in a children's hospital. The team consisted of a critical care physician, nurse, respiratory therapist, and nursing supervisor. Generalizing the results from positive RRT outcome studies is often limited by methodological issues, such as defining clear triggers for activation and determining optimal composition of the RRT. A past study also demonstrated clinical outcome benefits, but used a physician assistant–led RRT. An accompanying editorial [link below] discusses these issues and the implications of this study for RRTs in pediatric inpatient care.