Implementing a pediatric rapid response system to improve quality and patient safety

Pediatr Clin North Am. 2009 Aug;56(4):919-33. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2009.05.017.


Life-threatening events are common in today's hospitals, where an increasing proportion of patients with urgent admission are cared for by understaffed, often inexperienced personnel. Medical errors play a key role in causing adverse events and failure to rescue deteriorating patients. In-hospital cardiac arrest outcomes are generally poor, but these events are often preceded by a pattern of deterioration with abnormal vital signs and mental status. When hospital staff or family members observe warning signs and trigger timely intervention by a rapid response team, rates of cardiac arrest and mortality can be reduced. Rapid response team involvement can be used to trigger careful review of preceding events to help uncover important systems issues and allow for further improvements in patient safety.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
  • Child
  • Emergency Medical Services / standards*
  • Emergency Medical Services / trends
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / standards
  • Heart Arrest* / diagnosis
  • Heart Arrest* / therapy
  • Hospitals, Pediatric / standards*
  • Humans
  • Medical Errors / prevention & control*
  • Medical Records
  • North Carolina
  • Organizational Case Studies
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Pediatrics / standards*
  • Quality of Health Care / standards*
  • Quality of Health Care / trends
  • Safety Management*
  • United States