• Study
  • Published November 2014

Incidents resulting from staff leaving normal duties to attend medical emergency team calls.

Rapid response teams, while controversial, have become a mainstay of hospital efforts to identify patients at risk for acute deterioration. This survey of rapid response members, including physicians and nurses, sought to determine whether team activities adversely affected usual work responsibilities. Although there were no reports of patient harm associated with attending rapid response events instead of normal duties, team members did report significant disruption of usual routines and inconvenience to other staff and patients. Hospital incident reporting systems did not capture this unintended consequence of rapid response mobilization. These data add to the concerns about rapid response teams as a patient safety strategy. A past AHRQ WebM&M perspective covers lessons learned from early rapid response system implementation.

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