A Rapid Response Team (RRT) is a group of critical care specialists who are available to rush to the bedside of any patient whose condition seems to be becoming worse. The Rapid Response Team is not intended to supplant the patient’s doctor or to take over for the nurse, but rather to work side-by-side with these caregivers. The growing use of RRTs is based on research that shows it is best to treat patients early in their decline, before a crisis occurs. Hospitals using RRTs report reductions in cardiac arrests, unplanned transfers to the ICU and overall mortality rates.
Legacy’s Rapid Response Teams include an ICU nurse, respiratory therapist and resident. Primary tasks of the RRT include: responding to requests for RRT intervention; consulting with each patient’s primary nurse and physician; assessing patients with the primary nurse; providing treatments and interventions using established protocols; assisting with the treatment plan for the patient and completing documentation.
RRTs have been implemented at all Legacy hospitals, including a pediatric RRT at The Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel. The pediatric RRT are pediatric critical care specialists, including the bedside nurse, the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit charge nurse and a respiratory therapist. The team works together to assess and stabilize the patient. The attending physician is notified whenever the pediatric RRT is activated and the outcomes of the intervention are shared with the attending physician.
An additional benefit of both the adult and pediatric RRTs is that the team members have the opportunity to educate and support other staff and team members in the care of the patient. If necessary, the team members also facilitate and assist with patient transfer to a higher level of care.