Nurse led Hospitals' rapid response teams save time, lives

  1. 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]
    •  
  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Shamira Aizza
    It's unfortunate that this concept took so long to catch on; many more lives could've been saved.

    I worked at a hospital in Pittsburgh that used Rap. Resp. Teams five years ago, and the hospital where I work now is just getting them implemented.

    In Pittsburgh, we experienced a dramatic reduction in code-blue calls, and an improvement in mortality.

    One of the good characteristics of this team is that the question is never to be asked, "who called the RRTeam?" This way, if a nurse suspects that an attending or fellow is poorly managing a patient, 'someone' can activate the RRTeam for expanded brain power, an alternative opinion, or another couple sets of hands...and the requestor doesn't have to worry that she/he will be 'hunted down' and chastized for activating the team, because this kind of 'hunting' is not allowed.

    Excellent concept.
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    I think it is a great idea providing the ICU nurse has no patient assignment.
  5. by   grace90
    Quote from Shamira Aizza

    One of the good characteristics of this team is that the question is never to be asked, "who called the RRTeam?" This way, if a nurse suspects that an attending or fellow is poorly managing a patient, 'someone' can activate the RRTeam for expanded brain power, an alternative opinion, or another couple sets of hands...and the requestor doesn't have to worry that she/he will be 'hunted down' and chastized for activating the team, because this kind of 'hunting' is not allowed.

    Excellent concept.
    This has just been implemented (spelling?) this summer at my hospital. It's still catching on. Sometimes the team members are slow to respond, but it's getting better. The first time I called one, it was on a LOM with a cardiac hx that c/o CP. He got a nitro, per the internist's order, and his BP dropped to 70's/30's. That's when I called the RRT, and when the internist arrived, after the rest of the RRT had come, he acted like I was stupid for calling it ("blood pressure is supposed to drop with nitro"), but the CCU nurses who came said it was definitely appropriate for calling it. It is nice to have.

    I recently tried to convince another nurse to call an RRT b/c an on-call primary doc wasn't taking seriously a systolic of 50's, despite being called 3x. She refused to call an RRT "just because the pressure was low". I wonder if I should have called it for her. I wasn't charge, and it wasn't my patient, but should another nurse call RRT if she/he thinks a patient isn't getting the care they need?
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from grace90
    This has just been implemented (spelling?) this summer at my hospital. It's still catching on. Sometimes the team members are slow to respond, but it's getting better. The first time I called one, it was on a LOM with a cardiac hx that c/o CP. He got a nitro, per the internist's order, and his BP dropped to 70's/30's. That's when I called the RRT, and when the internist arrived, after the rest of the RRT had come, he acted like I was stupid for calling it ("blood pressure is supposed to drop with nitro"), but the CCU nurses who came said it was definitely appropriate for calling it. It is nice to have.

    I recently tried to convince another nurse to call an RRT b/c an on-call primary doc wasn't taking seriously a systolic of 50's, despite being called 3x. She refused to call an RRT "just because the pressure was low". I wonder if I should have called it for her. I wasn't charge, and it wasn't my patient, but should another nurse call RRT if she/he thinks a patient isn't getting the care they need?
    I think that as a patient advocate that is exactly when the RRT should be called.

    I like the policy anonymous calling. The patient gets the care and no one need fear retribution.
  7. by   cota2k
    I really like this program. I am currently in the ED, this frees us up from answering codes. In fact, hospitalists in our facility respond to the code blue's. As for the RRT, awesome. I can remember working on the floor, and sencing something not quite right with a patient, and not getting the support from my charge and the other "busy" and more experienced nurses. I would have loved to have called for help from a team that wanted to help.
  8. by   1jrbirdy
    Anyone can call the RRT. I've had respiratory therapists call me and we also have family and patient activated rapid response. I would let the reluctant nurse know that I'm calling if she doesn't.

close