Hospitalists Join Deer Valley's Rapid Response Crisis Teams

In the spirit of Deer Valley Hospital's longstanding and ongoing commitment to continuous quality improvement, its hospitalists have joined the facility's Rapid Response Team, a designated group that responds when anyone in the hospital — patient, visitor or co-worker — experiences a medical condition that requires timely intervention.

"This is part of our ongoing effort to provide really good care," said Maggi Griffin, Deer Valley's vice president for Patient Care Services. "Having a physician as a member of the Rapid Response Team has become a national standard for quality patient care."

Deer Valley's Rapid Response Team, initiated in January 2006, originally included a critical care nurse, a respiratory therapist and (if the person in crisis was a patient) the bedside nurse. Based upon approved protocols, the team is responsible for initiating appropriate clinical interventions in response to the patient's crisis.

RRTs were part of the hospital's participation in the Institute for Healthcare Improvements 100K Lives Campaign. The campaign was a national effort to reduce hospital mortality rates and improve patient outcomes by improving and standardizing procedures used to provide patient care.

Under the new agreement which went into effect in mid-May, the hospitalist on call will respond 24/7, any time an RRT is called.

"This is a great service," said Mary Ann Turley, DO, medical director for both John C. Lincoln Hospitals. "The hospitalists clearly did not have to agree to accept responsibility for this latest role, but their decision to join the RRT is the best thing for all the people in the hospital."

Although hospitalists supervise care for most inpatients, some patients are still admitted and supervised by their own physicians. If those patients — or hospital visitors or co-workers — experience a crisis requiring mobilization of the RRT, the appropriate attending physician will be called. The hospitalist will provide the attending with follow-up information so both can collaborate on the patient's subsequent course of care.

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