Medical EducationOriginal Article

Improving Resident Performance Through a Simulated Rapid Response Team: A Pilot Study

Peter A. Burke, DO; Michael T. Vest, DO; Hemant Kher, PhD; Joseph Deutsch, MD; and Sneha Daya, MD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Accepted: April 13, 2015

Published: July 1, 2015

J Osteopath Med; 115(7): 444-450

Context: The Joint Commission requires hospitals to develop systems in which a team of clinicians can rapidly recognize and respond to changes in a patient’s condition. The rapid response team (RRT) concept has been widely adopted as the solution to this mandate. The role of house staff in RRTs and the impact on resident education has been controversial. At Christiana Care Health System, eligible residents in their second through final years lead the RRTs.

Objectives: To evaluate the use of a team-based, interdisciplinary RRT training program for educating and training first-year residents in an effort to improve global RRT performance before residents start their second year.

Methods: This pilot study was administered in 3 phases. Phase 1 provided residents with classroom-based didactic sessions using case-based RRT scenarios. Multiple choice examinations were administered, as well as a confidence survey based on a Likert scale before and after phase 1 of the program. Phase 2 involved experiential training in which residents engaged as mentored participants in actual RRT calls. A qualitative survey was used to measure perceived program effectiveness after phase 2. In phase 3, led by senior residents, simulated RRTs using medical mannequins were conducted. Participants were divided into 5 teams, in which each resident would rotate in the roles of leader, nurse, and respiratory therapist. This phase measured resident performance with regard to medical decision making, data gathering, and team behaviors during the simulated RRT scenarios. Performance was scored by an attending and a senior resident.

Results: A total of 18 residents were eligible (N=18) for participation. The average multiple choice test score improved by 20% after didactic training. The average confidence survey score before training was 3.44 out of 5 (69%) and after training was 4.13 (83%), indicating a 14% improvement. High-quality team behaviors correlated with medical decision making (0.92) more closely than did high-quality data gathering (0.11). This difference narrowed during high-pressure scenarios (0.84 and 0.72, respectively).

Conclusions: Our data suggest that resident training using a team-based, interdisciplinary RRT training program may improve resident education, interdisciplinary team-based dynamics, and global RRT performance. In turn, data gathering and medical decision making may be enhanced, which may result in better patient outcomes during RRT scenarios.

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