Rapid Response team is a USDA grant program to provide an added level of care for patients at critical access or rural hospitals.

Early Intervention

A patient recovering from surgery may appear to be doing well, but may show early signs of clinical deterioration. The concept of the Rapid Response is to recognize subtle changes in patient's condition and address them immediately before a crisis occurs or a need for transfer to a larger hospital becomes necessary.

Rapid Assessment

As soon as early signs and symptoms of instability are recognized, a team of providers is summoned to the bedside to immediately assess and treat the patient with the goal of preventing a transfer, cardiac arrest, or death. In contrast to standard cardiac arrest or "code blue" teams, which are summoned only after cardiopulmonary arrest occurs, Rapid Response teams are designed to intervene and prevent during this critical period, usually in a general care area. 

Telemedicine Technology

Utilizing telemedicine technology that connects the local team and a Rapid Response team, the Rapid Response team assists staff members in assessing and stabilizing the patient. They also organize patient information for the physician and provide support to the bedside staff as they care for the patient. If circumstances warrant, they will assist in transferring the patient to a higher level of care.

The USDA Grant provides 17 critical access hospitals access to a Rapid Response team at CHI Health St. Elizabeth in Lincoln, Nebraska or at CHI Health Good Samaritan in Kearney, Nebraska.