Title

The impact of a nurse led rapid response system on adverse, major adverse events and activation of the medical emergency team

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Massey, D, Aitken, LM & Chaboyer, W 2015, 'The impact of a nurse led rapid response system on adverse, major adverse events and activation of the medical emergency team', Intensive and Critical Care Nursing, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 83-90.

Published version available from

http://doi.org/10.1016/j.iccn.2014.11.005

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Aim

To identify the relationship between one example of a rapid response system (RRS), specifically, an after-hours Clinical Team Co-Ordinator (CTC), and the incidence of Medical Emergency Team (MET) activations and, adverse and major adverse events in medical patients.

Method

A retrospective chart audit of patients’ medical records was undertaken. The intervention group consisted of 150 randomly selected medical patients admitted during three months after the introduction of the CTC after-hours service. The control group consisted of 150 randomly selected medical patients admitted before the introduction of the after-hours CTC service. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine which of the potential predictors, along with the after-hours CTC service, were associated with adverse and major adverse events.

Results

A total of 130 patients (n = 63, 42% control; n = 67, 45% intervention) exhibited physiological abnormalities that should have activated the MET yet it was only activated five times. In total there were 69 adverse events (n = 32, 21% control; n = 36, 25% intervention) and 25 major adverse events (n = 7, 5% control; n = 18, 12% intervention). There were more adverse and major adverse events identified after the introduction of the CTC after-hours service. Changes in heart rate and reduction in Glasgow Coma Scores (GCS) were significant predictors of an adverse event. A low urine output and a drop of two or more in the GCS were significant predictors of a major adverse event.

Conclusions

The introduction of an after-hours CTC service in a specific clinical site was associated with an increase in the identification of adverse and major adverse events in medical patients. Further exploration of nurse-led rapid response systems should be undertaken in different clinical settings.

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