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January 10, 2007

Rapid Response Team Responses

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2007;297(2):154-155. doi:10.1001/jama.297.2.154-a

To the Editor: In response to the Commentary by Drs Winters, Pham, and Pronovost1 regarding rapid response teams (RRTs), we would like to describe why our institution became interested in implementing this intervention despite what the authors describe as equivocal published evidence.

Rapid response teams are specifically designed to address failure to rescue, which usually stems from (1) failure to recognize a problem, (2) failure to plan for the problem, or (3) failure to communicate regarding the problem.2 Sentinel event reviews, mandated by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations,3 confirmed that these 3 themes were often present when unexpected occurrences unfolded at our institution. These reviews of our own care experience, albeit unpublished and observational in nature, convinced us that implementing an RRT was worth a try.

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