Rapid Response-Quality Champion (RRT-QC) nurses are expert critical care
nurses who serve all of Frederick Memorial Hospital in two distinct areas:
responding to clinical emergencies and assuring compliance with quality measures.
Rapid Response Team-Quality Champion nurses wear yellow jackets and blue
pants to enhance their visibility to patients and families and to make
them immediately recognizable to their colleagues.
Available around the clock, every day of the year; RRT-QC nurses must be
physically capable of responding to an RRT call within five minutes, as
well as have:
- A minimum of two years of critical care experience with at least six months
at Frederick Memorial Hospital.
- Current Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and National Institutes of
Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) certifications.
- ICU/Critical Care competencies, mandatories, and any other ICU or hospital
- Excellent clinical performance and communication skills.
Studies show that most cardiac arrests are preceded by abnormal clinical
changes. Therefore, recognizing the warning signs of cardiac arrest in
patients who are not hospitalized on the ICU is an important part of keeping
our patients safe and on the road to recovery.
When a patient is showing signs of deterioration, our RRT-QC nurses bring
critical care expertise to a patient’s bedside. They round on each
shift with the charge nurses of the medical, surgical, and telemetry units
to identify patients with subtle signs of clinical deterioration or who
may need additional screening for sepsis. Our RRT-QC nurses also assess
patients who have recently transferred from ICU, as well as all patients
who have previously been treated by the Rapid Response Team. They serve
as a clinical resource for beginning intravenous lines and other procedures,
and respond to emergencies including:
- Code Blue
- Code Heart
- Code Sepsis
- Code Stroke
Having a dedicated RRT-QC team on call for early intervention has resulted
in measurably better outcomes, higher quality of care, improved communication
with families, and fewer unnecessary transfers to the ICU. Since the RRT-QC
role was expanded, we have reduced the number of Code Blues outside of
the ICU, as well as the rate of actual Rapid Response calls. This was
accomplished by proactive identification and intervention for patients
on inpatient floors demonstrating early warning signs of hemodynamic instability.
In the role of Quality Champion, the RRT-QC nurse acts as a resource and
primary auditor for restraint compliance, fall response, and other quality
activities as instructed. In addition, they:
- Coordinate a “huddle” meeting after all patient, visitor, or
- Visit with patients transferred out of the ICU to a general medical-surgical
floor or telemetry within 12-24 hours.
- Complete a checklist to ensure compliance with all measures on Code Sepsis calls.
- Complete a MEWS assessment when rounding with charge nurses to identify
patients experiencing subtle signs of clinical deterioration.
Physicians and staff at Frederick Memorial Hospital have found the role
of the RRT-QC nurses to be invaluable in providing the best patient care
possible. In addition to helping us further our ability to provide quality
patient-and family-centered care, the creation of the RRT-QC nurse’s
role offers our staff an additional resource. Nurses report a heightened
sense of security knowing that in their day-to-day clinical roles and
activities, additional support is just a rapid response call away.
This reinvented program has gained national recognition. Frederick Memorial
Hospital’s ICU Manager and Clinical Nurse Specialist have presented
the RRT-QC model at national conferences, including Premier Breakthroughs
To read more about the quality care provided at Frederick Memorial Hospital's ICU,