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MERIT study investigators. Lancet. 2005;365:2091-2097.
This study examined the impact of medical emergency teams (METs), also known as rapid response teams (RRTs), on cardiac arrests, transfers to an intensive care unit (ICU), and deaths. The 23-hospital Australian study evaluated the availability of METs at designated hospitals and collected data prior to and during the six months following implementation. Findings suggested more calls for the emergency team but no difference in primary or secondary outcomes. However, the authors point out that even at hospitals with METs in place, inadequate utilization occurred for patients who met clinical criteria. They conclude that despite similar outcomes in both hospital groups, system-based interventions can support a focus on improved monitoring of patients and appropriate response by clinicians.