Rapid response teams represent an intuitively simple concept: when a patient demonstrates signs of imminent clinical deterioration, a team of providers is summoned to immediately assess and treat the patient with the goal being to prevent cardiac or respiratory arrest.
Rapid response teams have become a widely used patient safety intervention in hospitals across the country. MedStar St. Mary's Hospital implemented the Clinical Rapid Response Team in February 2008 to improve patient outcomes with timely clinical interventions. Our Rapid Response Team responds to calls from patients, visitors, associates and physicians.
Those who know the person best often see the earliest signs of deterioration. Anyone who assesses and notes acute changes in a patient's condition can initiate a "Condition H (Help)." To activate the Clinical Rapid Response Team, dial 33 on a hospital phone and state "Condition H, Room Number ___." Please stay with the patient until you speak with a member of the Rapid Response Team.
When to call a Condition H (Help):
Dial "33" in the hospital if you notice someone demonstrating the following signs:
- Serious, sudden or severe change in level of consciousness (mental status)
- Excessive bleeding
- Serious change in behavior or appearance
- Breathing difficulties