No more pediatric code blues on the floor: evolution of pediatric rapid response teams and situational awareness plans
Reducing or eliminating code blues that occur on the inpatient, noncritical care units of children’s hospitals is a challenging yet achievable goal. The mechanism to accomplish this involves several levels of effort. The implementation of effective pediatric rapid response teams is a well identified part of the process. Rapid response teams can allow for appropriate clinical interventions for deteriorating patients and may ultimately result in a reduction in hospital-wide mortality as well as efficient transfer to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) when necessary. The timely deployment of rapid response teams is dependent upon the appropriate recognition of patients at risk for deterioration. This recognition can be optimized by relying on assessments as simple as utilization of parental intuition to those as complex as big data models which utilize multiple predictor variables extracted from the electronic medical record. Ultimately, the goal to proactively identify patients at risk of deterioration may allow for prevention of clinical decline via appropriate and timely interventions, and if unsuccessful at that level, may allow for improved outcomes via optimized resuscitation care in the PICU.