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contemporary remote control centere where nurses are monitoring patients using advanced yet realistic technology. The scene depicts a modern hospital department.

Enhancing Hospital Safety: Integrating Clinical Decision Support with Rapid Response Teams for Proactive Patient Care

contemporary remote control centere where nurses are monitoring patients using advanced yet realistic technology. The scene depicts a modern hospital department.

Enhancing Hospital Safety: Integrating Clinical Decision Support with Rapid Response Teams for Proactive Patient Care

Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) are specialized groups in hospital settings designed to provide immediate care to patients showing signs of significant clinical deterioration. These teams play an important role in the hospital – act quickly to intervene early. The main goal of this virtual nursing model is to identify and treat patients at an early stage of unanticipated clinical decline to prevent the need for emergency or unplanned transfer to intensive care.

Role and Importance of RRTs in Hospital Settings

Rapid Response Team’s typically respond to patients after being notified by bedside care teams who observe a patient’s condition worsening. Criteria for activating an RRT vary by institution but generally include changes in vital signs, level of consciousness, or other clinical indicators. Upon arrival, the team assesses the patient, administers immediate interventions, and decides on the best course of action: further monitoring, additional treatment, or transferring the patient from acute care to a higher level of care.

Incorporating Decisio’s Clinical Decision Support (CDS) into RRT Workflow

By incorporating the use of Decisio’s Clinical Decision Support (CDS) solution into the existing workflow, this model significantly outperforms the traditional methods of activating the Rapid Response Team. The use of clinical decision support software provides a thorough foundation of patient status to the RRT while also offering visual alerts and potentially concerning clinical trends across an entire unit, care area, or facility. This helps the clinical team monitor large groups of patients more closely, paying particular attention to changes in vital signs and other critical indicators of patient decompensation in near real time.

The benefits of utilizing a Rapid Response Team combined with clinical decision support software like Decisio’s solution are vast and include improved patient outcomes, improved patient mortality rates, improved intervention times, reduced LOS from hospital acquired complications and failure to rescue events, and a significant decrease in unanticipated, or unplanned, ICU transfers. How significant, you ask? RRT activation using near real-time clinical decision support software with NEWS criteria, compared to traditional methods, was associated with a 61% reduction in cardiac arrests and a 32% reduction in unplanned ICU transfers*.

Future Directions: Technology and Teamwork in Patient Care Management

While RRT’s are mainly focused on monitoring the acute care areas and the emergency department, their impact is truly hospital wide. Studies show both a decrease in mortality rate and reduction of length of stay (LOS) has been seen throughout the entire hospital.

As the use of Rapid Response Team’s and virtual nursing increases in hospitals around the world, we will continue to support those teams by providing solutions that focus on improving both patient outcomes and the overall experience for clinical teams.

Sources:

*Critical Care Medicine 52(1):p S598, January 2024. | DOI: 10.1097/01.ccm.0001003172.12936.c9