Rapid Response Systems Impact on Nursing Care

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. Expert providers are then coordinated through the RRS to address the clinical needs of the patient, while supporting the clinical care provided by the bedside nurse. Patients receiving RRS interventions frequently require transfers to higher levels of care, which can be a prolonged and cumbersome process. RRS policies and procedures are often designed to help alleviate these challenges and facilitate the ability to emergently transfer patients. In addition, RRS teams in smaller facilities may be coordinated by expert ICU nurses these teams provide a pathway for leadership opportunities and clinical growth.