The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) 100,000 Lives Campaign is an initiative engaging US hospitals in a commitment to implement changes to improve patient care and prevent avoidable deaths between January 2005 and June 2006. The organization’s goal is to save 100000 lives.

Entering into this campaign is the rapid response team. Based on a model developed in Melbourne, Australia, and pioneered in the United States in Pittsburgh, the rapid response team appears to be a common denominator in saving lives, reducing codes, and ensuring safety for “at-risk” patients. As mentioned in an IHI Report, the team “is like putting out sparks before the forest fire.”

During the past year, about 100 rapid response teams have been established across the nation. The team’s formation and the role it plays vary from hospital to hospital. Each hospital fine-tunes its team to meet its unique needs, but outcomes tend to produce the...

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