Rapid Response Systems

  • Ken HillmanEmail author
  • Jack Chen
Part of the Respiratory Medicine book series (RM, volume 18)


A rapid response system (RRS) is a way of identifying a seriously ill or deteriorating patient and linking it to a rapid response by clinicians with the appropriate skills and knowledge necessary to manage the patient. Like ICUs, the widespread implementation of RRSs is simply another intervention, developed around the needs of seriously ill or deteriorating patients. It is no coincidence that many of the systems are operated by clinicians trained in intensive care medicine. The level of illness and outcomes for patients in intensive care and those subject to rapid response calls is comparable. In other words, whether in the ICU or outside it, these patients require clinicians with high levels of skills, experience, and knowledge. There is, as yet, no conclusive data on the most accurate triggering criteria, or on the ideal responding staff. There is some early evidence that hospitals with RRSs significantly reduce the mortality and cardiac arrest rates and the concept has now been adopted in many hospitals around the world.


Rapid response systems Medical emergency team Early intervention Patient safety Hospital mortality rates Intensive care Cardiac arrest rates Hospital outcome indicators 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Intensive Care, South Western Sydney Clinical SchoolUniversity of New South Wales, Liverpool HospitalLiverpoolAustralia
  2. 2.Simpson Centre for Health Services ResearchSouth Western Sydney Clinical School, University of New South WalesKensingtonAustralia
  3. 3.Australian Institute of Health InnovationUniversity of New South WalesKensingtonAustralia

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