The purpose of the study was to (a) determine the level of rapid response team sustainability in a group of hospitals that participated in a collaborative to implement and sustain rapid response teams; and (b) determine the association between sustainability elements and reported rapid response team sustainability scores.
A cross-sectional design using survey methodology was used. The Program Sustainability Index (PSI) was used to measure for the presence of RRT sustainability elements. The PSI consists of 35 items and five subscales, namely leadership competence, effective collaboration, demonstrating program results, strategic funding, staff involvement and integration, and program responsivity.
All the hospitals in a southeastern state in the U.S. that participated in a 9-month statewide collaborative conducted in 2006 and 2007 with the goal to successfully establish, implement, measure, evaluate, and sustain RRTs in acute care hospitals in the state.
Twenty-five hospitals participated in the study (response rate of 45%). Academic medical centers and community hospitals participated. Preliminary findings indicate variability in sustainability scores between hospitals and the presence of sustainability elements, and potential relationships between sustainability elements of leadership competence, effective collaboration, demonstrating program results, strategic funding, staff involvement and integration, and program responsivity. A full report of the study findings, including the assocation between sustainabliity elements and sustainability scores, will be reported at the presentation. It is anticipated that, based on previous studies, variation will exist in the strength of associations between elements and sustainability scores.
The sustainability of RRTs has not yet been fully realized in hospitals that participated in the collaborative. Additional conclusions will be drawn following a more in-depth analysis of the study results.
Implications for policy
The preliminary findings of the study suggest that mandating RRT implementation and participation in a statewide collaborative may not be enough to achieve RRT sustainability. Without sustainability the outcomes hoped from RRT implementation may continue to elude organizations.