A Strategy to Increase the Utilization of RRT

Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science



Department or Program Chair

Eira Klich-Heartt, RN, MSN

Thesis Advisor

Eira Klich-Heartt, RN, MSN


Literature has shown that at-risk patients on units outside of the ICU have often received suboptimal care resulting in serious adverse events including cardiac arrest, multi-organ failure and death (Jones, King, Wilson, 2009). Outcomes for patients are often dependent on nurses’ ability to identify and respond to signs of increasing illness or deterioration and initiate medical intervention for the patient (Cioffi, 2000).

The early recognition by the bedside RN clinician, of a patient who is deteriorating clinically is essential in promoting patient safety, preventing later cardiopulmonary arrest and reducing mortality rates (Morgan, 1997). Occasionally the signs of clinical deterioration are not recognized in the early stages. There are observable physiological abnormalities prior to adverse events such as cardiac or respiratory arrest, unanticipated admissions to a higher level of care and unexpected death (Morgan, 1997). Abnormalities in mental status, urinary output, vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse, temperature, respiratory rates and oxygen saturation are common prior to the occurrence of serious adverse events.

Medical Emergency Teams and the subsequent Rapid Response Teams have been implemented since the early 1990’s (Lee, Hillman, Daffurn, 1995). Due to the creation of these teams significant changes in how declining patients are managed. Subsequent research has predominantly surrounded cardiac arrest and unanticipated ICU admissions, indicating that MET/RRT continue to be underused (Lee et al 1995). The ambition of this work is to identify factors that impact nurses’ effective use of the MET or RRT and develop strategies to overcome them.

Only available in print

Scan Your Thesis