Abstract 11: Medical Emergency Teams Reduce Unexpected Cardiac Arrests, But Not Overall Hospital Costs Per Case
Introduction: Medical emergency teams (MET) have been developed to meet the growing needs of hospitalized patients. Medical emergency teams have been shown to reduce unexpected cardiac arrests, unexpected ICU transfers, length of stay (LOS), and inpatient mortality. However, there is no data on overall hospital cost per case with the addition of a MET team.
Hypothesis: We hypothesized that the addition of a MET to our hospital would reduce our hospital cost per case by reducing unexpected cardiac arrest.
Methods: A MET was developed at our 714-bed teaching hospital in March 2006. Our goal was to perform a retrospective analysis of hospital costs per case related to cardiac arrest and MET responses before and after establishment of a MET team. The first comparison group included unexpected cardiac arrests for a 6-month period from March 2005-September 2005 before establishment of the MET team. The second group included unexpected cardiac arrest patients and patients seen by the MET team that required unexpected transfer to the ICU for a similar 6-month period from March 2006-September 2006 after development of the MET team.
Results: Group 1 from 2005 included 76 unexpected cardiac arrest patients and Group 2 from 2006 included 48 unexpected cardiac arrests and 95 unexpected transfers to the ICU. Both groups had similar overall severity scores of 1.7. Overall we had a 37% reduction in unexpected cardiac arrests in the first 6 months after initiation of the MET team. The overall mean LOS was lower in group 2 at 15 days compared to 17 days in group 1, however there was no statistical significance (p=0.59). There was no difference in the mean total cost per case in group 2, $34,653± $32,500 compared to group 1, $37,657± $38,517 (p=0.58).
Conclusion: The implementation of the medical emergency team at our hospital decreased unexpected cardiac arrests, but did not decrease mean total cost per case for patients suffering unexpected cardiac arrests and unexpected ICU transfer during activation of the medical emergency team.