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April 22 2009

Rapid Response Team Implementation and Hospital Mortality Rates

JAMA. 2009;301(16):1658-1660. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.529

To the Editor: Dr Chan and colleagues1 reported their experience of a rapid response system implementation. A rapid response system generally comprises an afferent and an efferent component. The afferent component (responsible for event detection and activation of the efferent component) routinely requires the bedside nurse or physician to identify a patient at risk using clinical judgment or predefined criteria; telemetry and other technologies have a role as well.2 The efferent component in this study was a team comprising intensive care unit (ICU) registered nurses and a respiratory therapist. Other team structures may include medical emergency teams staffed by an intensivist, ICU registered nurse, and rapid response team.