Proactive rounding by the rapid response team reduces inpatient cardiac arrests

Faheem W. Guirgis*, Cynthia Gerdik, Robert L. Wears, Deborah J. Williams, Colleen J. Kalynych, Joseph Sabato, Steven A. Godwin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Rapid response teams (RRTs) are frequently employed to respond to deteriorating inpatients. Proactive rounding (PR) consists of the RRT nurse rounding through the inpatient wards identifying high risk patients and intervening preemptively. At our institution, PR began in July of 2007. Our objective was to determine the effect of PR by the RRT at our institution on non-ICU cardiac arrests, code deaths, RRT interventions, and transfers to a higher level of care. Also, to report ICU transfer survival and survival to discharge rates after the start of PR. Design: Retrospective review of a prospectively collected database. Setting: A tertiary, academic, level 1 trauma center with 696 beds and a rapid response system. Patients: 1253 Non-ICU cardiac arrests from 2005 through June of 2012. Interventions: None. Measurements and main results: The total study period included 223,267 inpatient admissions (70,129 pre-PR and 153,138 post-PR) and 1,250,814 patient days (391,088 pre-PR and 859,726 post-PR). The quarterly code rate before PR was 66 and the code rate after the institution of PR was 30 (difference = 36.8, 95% CI 25.6-48.0, p<. .001). Quarterly code deaths decreased from 29 to 7 (difference= 21.95, 95% CI 16.3-27.6, p<. .001). This decrease in floor codes and code deaths was still present after adjusting for inpatient admission and inpatient days. Average quarterly RRT interventions increased from 141 in the pre-PR period to 690 in the post-PR period (difference = 549, 95% CI 360-738, p<. .001). Average quarterly transfers to HLC went up from 38 pre-PR to 164 post-PR (difference = 126, 95% CI 79-172, p<. .001). Conclusions: The institution of proactive rounding at a tertiary care, academic, level 1 trauma center results in reduced floor codes and code deaths as well as increased RRT interventions and transfers to a higher level of care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1668-1673
Number of pages6
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiac arrest
  • In-hospital cardiac arrest
  • Patient-centered care
  • Proactive rounding
  • Rapid response systems
  • Rapid response teams


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