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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Use of medical emergency team responses to reduce hospital cardiopulmonary arrests.

DeVita MA, Braithwaite RS, Mahidhara R, et al. Quality & safety in health care. 2004;13:251-4.

This study is the first in the United States to examine the impact of medical emergency teams (METs), also known as rapid response teams, on the incidence and outcomes of cardiac arrests. Investigators discovered that after implementation of METs, which included development and dissemination of objective activation criteria, a 17% decrease occurred in the incidence of cardiac arrests. The METs were comprised of critical care physicians and nurses and the retrospective study findings were based on more than 3200 MET activations. The authors suggest potential benefits from implememation of such systems but caution by pointing out the need for further prospective evaluation. METs later became part of a campaign to save 100k lives.