Association Between Survival and Time of Day for Rapid Response Team Calls in a National Registry. (Patel)

Churpek MM, et al. Association Between Survival and Time of Day for Rapid Response Team Calls in a National Registry. Crit Care Med. 2017 Oct;45(10):1677-1682.

OBJECTIVES: Decreased staffing at nighttime is associated with worse outcomes in hospitalized patients. Rapid response teams were developed to decrease preventable harm by providing additional critical care resources to patients with clinical deterioration. We sought to determine whether rapid response team call frequency suffers from decreased utilization at night and how this is associated with patient outcomes.

DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of a prospectively collected registry database.

SETTING: National registry database of inpatient rapid response team calls.

PATIENTS: Index rapid response team calls occurring on the general wards in the American Heart Association Get With The Guidelines-Medical Emergency Team database between 2005 and 2015 were analyzed.


MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The primary outcome was inhospital mortality. Patient and event characteristics between the hours with the highest and lowest mortality were compared, and multivariable models adjusting for patient characteristics were fit. A total of 282,710 rapid response team calls from 274 hospitals were included. The lowest frequency of calls occurred in the consecutive 1 AM to 6:59 AM period, with 266 of 274 (97%) hospitals having lower than expected call volumes during those hours. Mortality was highest during the 7 AM hour and lowest during the noon hour (18.8% vs 13.8%; adjusted odds ratio, 1.41 [1.31-1.52]; p < 0.001). Compared with calls at the noon hour, those during the 7 AM hour had more deranged vital signs, were more likely to have a respiratory trigger, and were more likely to have greater than two simultaneous triggers.

CONCLUSIONS: Rapid response team activation is less frequent during the early morning and is followed by a spike in mortality in the 7 AM hour. These findings suggest that failure to rescue deteriorating patients is more common overnight. Strategies aimed at improving rapid response team utilization during these vulnerable hours may improve patient outcomes.


A Time-Motion Study of ICU Workflow and the Impact of Strain. (Emrath)

Hefter Y, Madahar P, Eisen LA, Gong MN. A Time-Motion Study of ICU Workflow and the Impact of Strain. Crit Care Med. 2016 Aug;44(8):1482-9.

OBJECTIVE: Understanding ICU workflow and how it is impacted by ICU strain is necessary for implementing effective improvements. This study aimed to quantify how ICU physicians spend time and to examine the impact of ICU strain on workflow.

DESIGN: Prospective, observational time-motion study.

SETTING: Five ICUs in two hospitals at an academic medical center.

SUBJECTS: Thirty attending and resident physicians.


MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: In 137 hours of field observations, the most time-84 hours (62% of total observation time)-was spent on professional communication. Reviewing patient data and documentation occupied a combined 52 hours (38%), whereas direct patient care and education occupied 24 hours (17%) and 13 hours (9%), respectively. The most frequently used tool was the computer, used in tasks that occupied 51 hours (37%). Severity of illness of the ICU on day of observation was the only strain factor that significantly impacted work patterns. In a linear regression model, increase in average ICU Sequential Organ Failure Assessment was associated with more time spent on direct patient care (β = 4.3; 95% CI, 0.9-7.7) and education (β = 3.2; 95% CI, 0.7-5.8), and less time spent on documentation (β = -7.4; 95% CI, -11.6 to -3.2) and on tasks using the computer (β = -7.8; 95% CI, -14.1 to -1.6). These results were more pronounced with a combined strain score that took into account unit census and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score. After accounting for ICU type (medical vs surgical) and staffing structure (resident staffed vs physician assistant staffed), results changed minimally.

CONCLUSION: Clinicians spend the bulk of their time in the ICU on professional communication and tasks involving computers. With the strain of high severity of illness and a full unit, clinicians reallocate time from documentation to patient care and education. Further efforts are needed to examine system-related aspects of care to understand the impact of workflow and strain on patient care.

Early goal-directed therapy in pediatric septic shock: comparison of outcomes “with” and “without” intermittent superior venacaval oxygen saturation monitoring: a prospective cohort study. (Tarquinio)

Sankar J, Sankar MJ, Suresh CP, et al. Early goal-directed therapy in pediatric septic shock: comparison of outcomes “with” and “without” intermittent superior venacaval oxygen saturation monitoring: a prospective cohort study*. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2014 May;15(4):e157-67.

Full-text for Children’s and Emory users.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of intermittent central venous oxygen saturation monitoring (ScvO(2)) on critical outcomes in children with septic shock, as continuous monitoring may not be feasible in most resource-restricted settings.

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Off-hours admission to pediatric intensive care and mortality. (Betters)

McCrory MC, Gower EW, Simpson SL, Nakagawa TA, Mou SS, Morris PE. Off-hours admission to pediatric intensive care and mortality. Pediatrics. 2014 Nov;134(5):e1345-53.

Full-text for Children’s and Emory users.

BACKGROUND: Critically ill patients are admitted to the pediatric ICU at all times, while staffing and other factors may vary by day of the week or time of day. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether admission during off-hours is independently associated with mortality in PICUs.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study of admissions of patients <18 years of age to PICUs was performed using the Virtual PICU Systems (VPS, LLC) database. “Off-hours” was defined as nighttime (7:00 pm to 6:59 am) or weekend (Saturday or Sunday any time). Mixed-effects multivariable regression was performed by using Pediatric Index of Mortality 2 (PIM2) to adjust for severity of illness. Primary outcome was death in the pediatric ICU.

RESULTS: Data from 234 192 admissions to 99 PICUs from January 2009 to September 2012 were included. When compared with regular weekday admissions, off-hours admissions were less likely to be elective, had a higher risk for mortality by PIM2, and had a higher observed ICU mortality (off-hours 2.7% vs weekdays 2.2%; P < .001). Multivariable regression revealed that, after adjustment for other significant factors, off-hours admission was associated with lower odds of mortality (odds ratio, 0.91; 95% confidence interval, 0.85-0.97; P = .004). Post hoc multivariable analysis revealed that admission during the morning period 6:00 am to 10:59 am was independently associated with death (odds ratio, 1.27; 95% confidence interval, 1.16-1.39; P < .0001).

CONCLUSIONS: Off-hours admission does not independently increase odds of death in the PICU. Admission from 6:00 am to 10:59 am is associated with increased risk for death and warrants further investigation in the PICU population.