The use of rapid response teams is a relatively new approach for decreasing or eliminating codes in acute care hospitals. Based on the principles of a code team for cardiac and/or respiratory arrest in non—critical care units, the rapid response teams have specially trained nursing, respiratory, and medical personnel to respond to calls from general care units to assess and manage decompensating or rapidly changing patients before their conditions escalate to a full code situation. This article describes the processes used to develop a rapid response team, clinical indicators for triggering a rapid response team call, topics addressed in an educational program for the rapid response team members, and methods for evaluating effectiveness of the rapid response team.

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