As part of its “100 000 Lives Campaign,” the Institute for Healthcare Improvement introduced rapid response teams (RRTs) in 2004 to bring critical interventions to the bedside at the first sign of deterioration. They quickly caught on, and by 2008, the Joint Commission had made RRTs part of hospital accreditation.

Most in-hospital arrest states are caused by respiratory compromise and hypotension.2–4  RRTs were based on the finding that caregivers outside of intensive care units (ICUs) often were unable to recognize these and other early signs and symptoms of patients’ deteriorating condition or waited too long to call for assistance to prevent a cardiac arrest, which can occur up to 6 hours before a code blue situation.1,4–6  At the first sign of deterioration, RRT activation brings critical interventions to the bedside, including a team of...

You do not currently have access to this content.