Children's Hospital celebrates patient safety milestone

Congratulations to patients, families, and staff of N.C. Children’s Hospital and the Pediatric Rapid Response System as we celebrate 2012 as the first (non-ICU) pediatric cardiac arrest-free year!

In order to thank the many people who made this possible, balloon bouquets and thank you letters from UNC Health Care and Children's Hospital leadership were delivered to areas where the pediatric rapid response team is deployed on February 22. This incredible accomplishment is due to the culture of safety and patient and family centered care in our institution.

We have seen a collaborative effort to utilize the Pediatric Rapid Response System from all areas of the hospitals from outpatient clinics to the Cancer Hospital and Burn Center because it is the right thing to do for patient care. Everyone has contributed to this success from the frontline staff recognizing the need to the hospital operators activating the team. We have also embraced partnerships with patients and families and encourage them to call the team for help.

The UNC Pediatric Rapid Response System was launched Aug. 1, 2005, and was the first pediatric team in the state of North Carolina and one of the first nationwide. In May 2007, N.C. Children's Hospital and the Pediatric Rapid Response System were honored by the National Patient Safety Foundation with its Socius Award. The Socius Award is given in recognition of work that promotes positive and effective partnering between patients/families and providers in pursuit of improved patient safety.

Prior to the 2005 launch of the Pediatric Rapid Response System, our institution experienced a pediatric cardiac arrest outside of the intensive care units every 38 days. By 2006, we had experienced a four-fold reduction in cardiac arrest rates, which has been sustained and continues to decrease with this recent record in 2012 of 372 days without a cardiac arrest.

Many studies show that only 27% of children who experience a cardiac arrest in the hospital survive to leave the hospital, so calling the team prior to a cardiac arrest truly saves lives. Thanks to everyone who worked to help us reach this milestone!