Condition Help: A Patient- and Family-Initiated Rapid Response System

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Rapid response teams (RRTs) help in delivering safe, timely care. Typically they are activated by clinicians using specific parameters. Allowing patients and families to activate RRTs is a novel intervention. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center developed and implemented a patient- and family-initiated rapid response system called Condition Help (CH).

METHODS:

When the CH system is activated, a patient care liaison or an on-duty administrator meets bedside with the unit charge nurse to address the patient's concerns. In this study, we collected demographic data, call reasons, call designations (safety or nonsafety), and outcome information for all CH calls made during the period January 2012 through June 2015.

RESULTS:

Two hundred forty patients/family members made 367 CH calls during the study period. Most calls were made by patients (76.8%) rather than family members (21.8%). Of the 240 patients, 43 (18%) made multiple calls; their calls accounted for 46.3% of all calls (170/367). Inadequate pain control was the reason for the call in most cases (48.2%), followed by dissatisfaction with staff (12.5%). The majority of calls involved nonsafety issues (83.4%) rather than safety issues (11.4%). In 41.4% of cases, a change in care was made.

CONCLUSION:

Patient- and family-initiated RRTs are designed to engage patients and families in providing safer care. In the CH system, safety issues are identified, but the majority of calls involve nonsafety issues.

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