Outcomes associated with the nationwide introduction of rapid response systems in the Netherlands.
Rapid response teams have been championed as a strategy to improve hospital outcomes. However, evidence regarding their effectiveness is mixed, and rapid response teams remain controversial. In this pre-post study across multiple hospitals, the combined incidence of in-hospital death, cardiopulmonary arrest, and unplanned intensive care unit admission decreased following the introduction of rapid response teams compared to the pre-implementation time period. Although this study design does not offer definitive evidence that rapid response was the cause of the declining event rate, it does add support for the call in the National Patient Safety Goal to implement rapid response more widely. Barriers to rapid response team implementation include personnel costs as well as existing culture which may lead to reluctance to activate a rapid response.