Impact of proactive rounding by a rapid response team on patient outcomes at an academic medical center

J Hosp Med. 2013 Jan;8(1):7-12. doi: 10.1002/jhm.1977. Epub 2012 Sep 28.


Background: The impact of rapid response teams (RRT) on patient outcomes remains uncertain.

Objective: To examine the effect of proactive rounding by an RRT on outcomes of hospitalized adults discharged from intensive care.

Design: Retrospective, observational study.

Setting: Academic medical center.

Patients: All adult patients discharged alive from the intensive care unit (ICU) at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center between January 2006 and June 2009.

Intervention: Introduction of proactive rounding by an RRT.

Measurements: Outcomes included the ICU readmission rate, ICU average length of stay (LOS), and in-hospital mortality of patients discharged from the ICU. Data were obtained from administrative billing databases and analyzed using an interrupted time series (ITS) model.

Results: We analyzed 17 months of preintervention data and 25 months of postintervention data. Introduction of proactive rounding by the RRT did not change the ICU readmission rate (6.7% before vs 7.3% after; P = 0.24), the ICU LOS (5.1 days vs 4.9 days; P = 0.24), or the in-hospital mortality of patients discharged from the ICU (6.0% vs 5.5%; P = 0.24). ITS models testing the impact of proactive rounding on secular trends found no improvement in any of the 3 clinical outcomes relative to their preintervention trends.

Conclusions: Proactive rounding by an RRT did not improve patient outcomes, raising further questions about RRT benefits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality*
  • Hospital Rapid Response Team / organization & administration
  • Hospital Rapid Response Team / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Readmission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • San Francisco