Making Hospitals Safer

Rapid response systems (RRS) have been developed to proactively identify patients at risk for clinical deterioration within the hospital, and to deliver reliable, safe, quality treatment to those individuals. The RRS expands care for the critically ill across the whole hospital. The RRS has arisen in response to the widespread realisation that many patients suffer harm or death due to unrecognised or poorly managed deterioration - particularly in general wards - and is now well established or standard of care in many countries.


Annual Meeting

The iSRRS hosts an annual conference. Our conferences cover a range of topics concerning rapid response systems and patient safety, delivered in a variety of ways: lectures, roundtable discussions, pro-con debates, and oral and poster research presentations. All sessions are relevant for medical, nursing, managerial and administrative staff interested in the detection and prevention of patient deterioration, and improving patient safety in our hospitals.
>> Link to 2017 Conference
>> Link to Conference Archives


The leading scientific work on rapid response systems, patient deterioration, and advanced skills training had come from prior conference organizers, board members and society members. Rich local and international collaborations have originated from connections made in these gatherings. The society will promote both research and system development year-round through on-line updates and discussions, and by publicizing current and exciting work through electronic media. Our goal is to bring together the best minds in the field and create the changes that will provide the best care for the acutely ill patent.

Changing Hospital Culture

The Rapid Response System (RRS) is a relatively unique intervention built around the needs of patients, and that needs to work across the whole organisation. The patient in this case is one who is deteriorating, usually on the general floor of an acute hospital. Specific aspects of these relatively new systems are the implementation of means for detecting the deteriorating patient amongst others who are progressing, creation of teams and other response units, and means to summon them. READ MORE >>


Family Members’ Perspective

The rapid response system is a lifeline that can provide significant reassurance for patients and families in the hospital. Family members are likely to have a continuous presence at the bedside of a hospitalized patient, and are often the first to recognize changes in a patient’s condition. To realize these benefits, patients and families need to know that the system exists and how it operates. They need to know how to get help immediately--whether it is through a direct patient-activated system or through asking a staff member to trigger to system for them. There is much potential in rapid response systems that has yet to be explored, but surely the most important is active patient and family participation, and the recognition that it is the family who will understand the subtleties of a patient’s condition the most.

Physicians’ Perspective

It is difficult to be certain about the bedside physician’s psychological investment in METs or RRTs when they were first introduced. Many expressed that they had the skills to deal with most situations, and that the teams were redundant. They did acknowledge that there were times when they were not available, but seemed to think that those times were rare. At the same time, critical care physicians often felt that having to leave the ICU to take care of "non-ICU" patients was a burden on them, and strained their ability to deliver care in the ICU. This one-two-punch of hospitalists not wanting any outside intrusion, and intensivists not wanting any new burdens, led to a culture opposed to the system. READ MORE >>

Nurses’ Perspective

While the overall goal of Rapid Response Systems (RRS) is to prevent unexpected clinical complications and mortality for hospitalized patients, in many settings these programs do so by providing direct assistance, support, and leadership opportunities for bedside nurses. RRS are designed to identify patients in clinical crisis, request and receive assistance from expert healthcare providers, coordinate necessary clinical resources, and provide follow-up with the bedside staff. Through the designation of common symptoms of clinical deterioration, busy bedside nurses are better able to recognize patients in need of early interventions and clearly communicate the need for urgent clinical support. READ MORE >>