hospitals' rapid response teams save time, lives
fewer code blues mark of progress
east bay business times - december 15, 2006by marie-anne hogarth
three east bay hospitals have earned high marks for speeding care to patients' bedsides.
sutter delta medical center in antioch, john muir health's walnut creek campus and eden medical center in castro valley are among a dozen west coast hospitals recognized for improvements in patient safety after empowering nurses to quickly summon rapid response teams.
the hospitals have reported marked declines in code blue warnings - used when a patient's heart stops beating or the patient stops breathing - called in units other than icu.
jackie burleson, who chairs the rapid response committee at eden medical center, said the system "empowers the staff to trust their instincts and say, 'there is something wrong here. i need somebody to pay attention.'"
[s] sutter delta medical center and eden medical center both reported that the number of code blues dropped by about 50 percent within two months, although both have seen some fluctuation in the numbers since then. john muir, which started its program in november 2005, has seen an 18 percent reduction of code blues after a year of measurements. at all three hospitals, the teams consist of an intensive care nurse and a respiratory therapist. [/s]