Impact of Rapid Response System Implementation on Critical Deterioration Events in Children

Division of General Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania2Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia3Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
JAMA pediatrics 11/2013; 168(1). DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.3266
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT IMPORTANCE Rapid response systems aim to identify and rescue deteriorating hospitalized patients. Previous pediatric rapid response system implementation studies have shown variable effectiveness in preventing rare, catastrophic outcomes such as cardiac arrest and death. OBJECTIVE To evaluate the impact of pediatric rapid response system implementation inclusive of a medical emergency team and an early warning score on critical deterioration, a proximate outcome defined as unplanned transfer to the intensive care unit with noninvasive or invasive mechanical ventilation or vasopressor infusion in the 12 hours after transfer. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Quasi-experimental study with interrupted time series analysis using piecewise regression. At an urban, tertiary care children's hospital in the United States, we evaluated 1810 unplanned transfers from the general medical and surgical wards to the pediatric and neonatal intensive care units that occurred during 370 504 non-intensive care patient-days between July 1, 2007, and May 31, 2012. INTERVENTIONS Implementation of a hospital-wide rapid response system inclusive of a medical emergency team and an early warning score in February 2010. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Rate of critical deterioration events, adjusted for season, ward, and case mix. RESULTS Rapid response system implementation was associated with a significant downward change in the preintervention trajectory of critical deterioration and a 62% net decrease relative to the preintervention trend (adjusted incidence rate ratio = 0.38; 95% CI, 0.20-0.75). We observed absolute reductions in ward cardiac arrests (from 0.03 to 0.01 per 1000 non-intensive care patient-days) and deaths during ward emergencies (from 0.01 to 0.00 per 1000 non-intensive care patient-days), but these were not statistically significant (P = .21 and P = .99, respectively). Among all unplanned transfers, critical deterioration was associated with a 4.97-fold increased risk of death (95% CI, 3.33-7.40; P < .001). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Rapid response system implementation reversed an increasing trend of critical deterioration. Cardiac arrest and death were extremely rare at baseline, and their reductions were not statistically significant despite using nearly 5 years of data. Hospitals seeking to measure rapid response system performance may consider using valid proximate outcomes like critical deterioration in addition to rare, catastrophic outcomes.

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    ABSTRACT: Rapid response systems (RRSs) aim to identify deteriorating hospitalized patients outside of the intensive care unit, respond quickly, and escalate to a higher level of care if needed. Despite a decade of evaluation, how to best design an RRS is still under study and debate. When considering your RRS, our recommendation is to start with the outcomes: what improvements in patient care are most needed in your environment? These may include reducing cardiac arrest or mortality, reducing critical deterioration, reducing length of stay in intensive care, or avoiding all preventable patient harm. Then, select a strategy for identification of at-risk patients, a response team structure that meets your institution’s needs, and a quality improvement and governance structure to ensure you monitor process and outcome variables. The identification limb detects at-risk patients. For this, we recommend an aggregate pediatric early warning score (EWS), clear guidance regarding monitoring type and frequency, flagging of diagnostic risk factors, and a mandatory escalation system that uses the expertise of nurses, patients, and families and works around barriers to enhance response team activation. The structure and function of the response limb are also dependent upon the needs of the institution. We recommend a multidisciplinary team with the skills and resources to assess and manage emergencies. Proactive identification through a rover team or scheduled safety huddles may help with earlier identification of at risk patients. The quality improvement and governance structure should be designed around the desired outcomes. Regular monitoring and review of successes, near misses, and failures are vital for the system to improve outcomes.
    03/2015; 1(1). DOI:10.1007/s40746-014-0005-1
  • 11/2013; 168(1). DOI:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.3868
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: Medical emergency teams (METs) can reduce adverse events in hospitalized children. We aimed to model the financial costs and benefits of operating an MET and determine the annual reduction in critical deterioration (CD) events required to offset MET costs. METHODS: We performed a single-center cohort study between July 1, 2007 and March 31, 2012 to determine the cost of CD events (unplanned transfers to the ICU with mechanical ventilation or vasopressors in the 12 hours after transfer) as compared with transfers to the ICU without CD. We then performed a cost-benefit analysis evaluating varying MET compositions and staffing models (freestanding or concurrent responsibilities) on the annual reduction in CD events needed to offset MET costs. RESULTS: Patients who had CD cost $99 773 (95% confidence interval, $69 431 to $130 116; P < .001) more during their post-event hospital stay than transfers to the ICU that did not meet CD criteria. Annual MET operating costs ranged from $287 145 for a nurse and respiratory therapist team with concurrent responsibilities to $2 358 112 for a nurse, respiratory therapist, and ICU attending physician freestanding team. In base-case analysis, a nurse, respiratory therapist, and ICU fellow team with concurrent responsibilities cost $350 698 per year, equivalent to a reduction of 3.5 CD events. CONCLUSIONS: CD is expensive. The costs of operating a MET can plausibly be recouped with a modest reduction in CD events. Hospitals reimbursed with bundled payments could achieve real financial savings by reducing CD with an MET.
    Pediatrics 07/2014; 134(2). DOI:10.1542/peds.2014-0140 · 5.30 Impact Factor