Prevalence, characteristics, and opinions of pediatric rapid response teams in the United States.
OBJECTIVE: Rapid response teams (RRTs) have been proposed as patient safety initiatives for hospitalized children. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence, characteristics, and opinions of RRTs in hospitals with PICUs in the United States. METHODS: This study was conducted as a cross-sectional survey of PICU physicians in adult and children's hospitals that care for children. One survey was sent to the PICU medical director in each hospital. The primary outcome was the presence of an RRT. Other outcomes included RRT characteristics and beliefs regarding their impact on patient safety. RESULTS: The survey response rate was 64% (134 of 210). Of the responding institutions, 79% (103) had an RRT; most of these teams were implemented in the last 5 years. Family activation was present in 69%, and automatic triggers existed in 34% of cases. RRTs included a median of 3 members and were composed of physicians in 77%, nurses in 100%, and respiratory therapists in 89% of institutions. Respondents with RRTs were more likely to agree that RRTs improve patient safety than respondents without RRTs (76% vs 52%) and more likely to disagree that they are not worth the money invested (82% vs 63%). CONCLUSIONS: Although the evidence and opinions on the benefit of RRTs are mixed, the majority of US hospitals with PICUs have implemented RRTs. These systems demonstrate variability in activation mechanisms and team composition. Hospitals may be empirically adopting these initiatives without knowledge of the specific characteristics that are optimal for patient outcomes.
Chen, JG; Kemper, AR; Odetola, F; Cheifetz, IM; Turner, DA
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