American Hospital Association
Health Research & Educational Trust


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Early Warning Systems: Scorecards That Save Lives


Topic: Failure to Rescue | Resource type: Case Study

For the past few years, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) has challenged hospitals across the United States to reduce cardiac arrests and other sudden, life-threatening events in patients on general medical floors by implementing a system of Rapid Response Teams. Such a system involves empowering staff nurses, and in a small but growing number of hospitals a family member, to summon a designated group of clinicians to a patient’s bedside to critically and quickly evaluate signs of a worsening condition. Steps can then be taken to head off the worst, including transferring the patient to an intensive care unit if necessary.

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