PENSACOLA, Fla. – Normally, a Rapid Response Team consists of
health care providers trained in early resuscitation intervention
and advanced life support who respond to hospitalized patients with
early signs of clinical deterioration in non-intensive care units to
prevent respiratory or cardiac arrest.
Pensacola utilizes its Rapid Response Team to respond to any medical
emergency that may occur at NHP.
Naval Hospital Pensacola Rapid Response Team members respond to a call
on January 27, 2015. Since the conversion of the Emergency Room to an Urgent Care Clinic, the Rapid Response Team has been available to respond to any medical situation in the hospital in a hurry. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class James Stenberg)
“The team responds to any sort of acute emergency that
might happen in the hospital,” said Lt. Amy Starling,
division officer, Intensive Care Unit, NHP. “The purpose of
our Rapid Response Team is to bring critical care expertise
to the patient whenever or wherever it's needed.”
With the conversion last year of the Emergency Room at NHP
to an Urgent Care Center, the priorities of NHP's Rapid
Response Team have shifted to encompass new areas of
“Traditionally, the Rapid Response
Team was an inpatient function,” said Starling. “If there
was a patient admitted to one of the wards and the nursing
staff felt the patient had a concerning change in their
status during a regular assessment, they could call the
Rapid Response Team to get extra eyes on the patient.
“When the Emergency Room [converted], we were faced with
the situation of where to send a patient if they [needed
immediate medical care]. The Rapid Response Team allows
immediate triage and discharge of the patient. If a patient
does have a life threatening issue, the Rapid Response Team
can quickly assess and treat the patient.”
Rapid Response Team is called, three possible outcomes could
occur. The team will both treat the patient and inform them
to follow up with their provider, admit the patient and
treat the patient at NHP or stabilize the patient before
transporting the patient to another medical care facility.
The availability of NHP's Rapid Response Team to the
entire hospital has had positive effects on the patients as
well as the staff.
“I'm proud of the new initiative
that expands rapid response to outpatient care,” said Lt.
Cmdr. Gabrielle Crane, department head, 5 West
Medical-Surgical Ward, NHP. “I think it encourages a lot of
team work across the hospital and it's a great resource that
anyone can call upon. It increases patient safety and
encourages a culture of team work.”
conducts regular training to make sure all staff members are
able to recognize the signs of patients in distress and how
to properly call for the Rapid Response Team.
the most meaningful stories since the implementation of the
Rapid Response Team was a response from the General Surgery
Clinic,” said Starling. “A patient was walking past the
General Surgery Clinic with obvious facial drooping and
slurred speech. A staff member immediately recognized the
warning signs for a stroke, even though the patient had not
and activated the Rapid Response Team. The team arrived and
immediately got the patient [transferred] to a facility that
specializes in stroke care.”
Due to the efforts and
training of the Rapid Response Team, patients like this one
and others are able to get the critical attention they need
in a timely manner.
By U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class James Stenberg
Comment on this article