Little is known about why nurses escalate a Medical Emergency Team (MET) response based on ‘worried’ criteria or what clinical findings define a ‘worried’ MET call. Limited clarity exists in nursing literature regarding the clinical definition of ‘worried’ in medical emergencies. Commonly ‘worried’ terminology is associated with nursing intuition about a patient's condition before signs of decline in clinical condition. This research has identified the exact clinical cause of ‘worried’ escalations, with evidence to support that clinical reasoning and patient deterioration are the main cause of ‘worried’ activation. This research has also highlighted areas for further professional development to enhance levels of patient safety and quality care within a regional hospital setting.
Aims: To evaluate the impact of Acute Deterioration Detection System (ADDS) charts introduced to a regional healthcare service. Background: To assist health professionals in identifying essential elements for recognizing patient clinical deterioration, a national initiative introduced track and trigger observation charts, to hospitals in Australia. This study investigated whether the introduction of ADDS charts had an impact on the number of Medical Emergency Team (MET) and Code Blue activations at one regional healthcare service, according to their incident recording database. Method: A retrospective study of all Code Blue and MET activations was undertaken at a regional hospital, pre and post the introduction of ADDS charts in a two year period, June 2012 to June 2014. Results: There was a significant increase in MET activations from 5.91 to 11.27 per 1000 admissions (p < 0.01) after the implementation of ADDS charts. There was also an unexplained non-significant increase from 0.50 to 0.88 per 1000 admissions in the activations of Code Blue during this period (p = 0.05). It was also found that ADDS charts did not overly influence the activation criteria for calling a MET/Code Blue, except for an increase in reports of high heart rate and a decrease in the use of the criteria ‘worried’. Conclusion: The introduction of ADDS charts has provided health professionals with a clear track and trigger set of criteria, improving the detection of early signs of deterioration in patients. This study demonstrated an increase in activations as a result of the introduction of ADDS charts in one regional healthcare service.