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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

A reduction in cardiac arrests and duration of clinical instability after implementation of a paediatric rapid response system.

Hanson CC, Randolph GD, Erickson JA, et al. Quality & safety in health care. 2009;18:500-4.

The effect of rapid response systems on clinical outcomes in adult patients remains controversial, but prior studies in children's hospitals have shown a significant benefit. This pediatric study found fewer cardiac arrests after implementing a rapid response team (RRT) consisting of a critical care physician, nurse, and respiratory therapist. Presence of the RRT also resulted in unstable patients being evaluated more promptly; earlier evaluation has been correlated with improved outcomes in prior studies. Though not formally requiring a rapid response system, The Joint Commission does require that all hospitals maintain a system for rapid evaluation of unstable patients as one of the National Patient Safety Goals.