Rapid Response Teams in Pediatric Patients: Well Intentioned, but Do They Really Help?
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Article, see p 38
We are practicing medicine in an era with an ever-increasing emphasis on fiscal and resource stewardship. It is important that we clearly distinguish actual from perceived benefits as we evaluate resource-intensive quality improvement initiatives. If only it were simple. In fact, the challenges in discriminating causal from associative relationships are many. In analyzing data surrounding quality improvement initiatives, it is easy to make mistakes that can lead to significant downstream consequences ranging from misallocation of scarce resources to potential patient harm.
Issues of quality and safety are at the forefront of conversations about how to improve medicine. Although many of these interventions appear logical and may indeed prove helpful, the evidence supporting most of them is not strong. This matter is highlighted in this issue of Circulation by the timely article by Kutty and colleagues,1 which evaluates the association between the implementation of pediatric medical emergency teams (METs) and risk-adjusted mortality at the hospital level. The training, implementation, and maintenance of a MET is resource-intensive, and as budgets become tighter and reimbursement becomes tougher, we need to know, as a healthcare industry, whether our system-wide interventions fulfill their intended …