As of June 9, 2023 the number of mass shootings for 2023 is 280 and the number of mass murders is 23. In healthcare settings, the timely response to patient deterioration is critical for ensuring positive outcomes. Failure to rescue (FTR) refers to the inability to prevent a patient’s condition from deteriorating to a life-threatening state. To combat FTR, many hospitals have implemented Rapid Response Teams (RRTs). In this blog post, we will explore the importance of RRTs in preventing FTR, their impact on patient safety, and the benefits they offer to healthcare organizations from an article in the June 2019 of Campus Safety Magazine. The article was written by Dr. Greg Botz of MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Charles Denham who is CEO of TMIT Global, Charlie Denham III who is a high school student, and Chief Bill Adcox of the U.T. Police Department and Chief Security Officer of MD Anderson.

 Understanding Failure to Rescue:

 Failure to rescue occurs when healthcare providers fail to recognize and respond promptly to early signs of deterioration in a patient’s condition. This delay in response can result in adverse events, such as cardiac arrest, organ failure, or even death. FTR is often associated with a lack of effective communication, inadequate monitoring, and insufficient training in recognizing deteriorating patients.

 The Role of Rapid Response Teams:

 Rapid Response Teams (RRTs), also known as Medical Emergency Teams (METs) or Critical Care Outreach Teams (CCOTs), are interdisciplinary teams composed of healthcare professionals with specialized skills in critical care. These teams are dedicated to providing an immediate response to patients who show signs of deterioration outside of critical care units.

 The Impact on Patient Safety:

 The implementation of RRTs has significantly improved patient safety in hospitals. By promptly intervening in cases of patient deterioration, RRTs can prevent adverse events and potentially save lives. Studies have shown that the presence of RRTs reduces both cardiac arrests and mortality rates in hospitals. The proactive approach of RRTs ensures that patients receive appropriate and timely care, leading to improved outcomes.

 Benefits to Healthcare Organizations:

 In addition to the positive impact on patient safety, RRTs offer several benefits to healthcare organizations. Firstly, RRTs promote a culture of patient-centered care and proactive monitoring. This not only enhances the quality of care provided but also boosts staff morale and confidence in their ability to respond to emergencies.

 Secondly, RRTs can help reduce the length of hospital stays and subsequent healthcare costs. By identifying and addressing deteriorating conditions early, RRTs can prevent the progression of illnesses, thereby reducing the need for more intensive and costly interventions.

Moreover, the implementation of RRTs can improve communication and collaboration among healthcare teams. RRTs provide a platform for interdisciplinary teamwork, enabling professionals from different departments to work together seamlessly. This interdisciplinary approach fosters a culture of continuous learning and improvement within the organization.

Workplace Violence is a major focus of TMIT Global through its monthly webinars found at . Dr. Charles Denham is moderating a panel of leading experts have been addressing it during the first quarter of 2023.

 Challenges and Considerations:

 While RRTs have proven to be effective in many healthcare settings, their successful implementation requires careful planning and consideration of certain challenges. These include ensuring proper staffing and training of RRT members, establishing clear criteria for RRT activation, and maintaining ongoing education and skill development for team members.


 Failure to rescue can have devastating consequences for patients and healthcare organizations. Rapid Response Teams have emerged as a powerful strategy to combat FTR and improve patient safety. By promptly identifying and responding to deteriorating conditions, RRTs play a crucial role in preventing adverse events and improving outcomes.

Healthcare organizations should consider the implementation of RRTs as part of their patient safety initiatives. Investing in adequate training, resources, and interdisciplinary collaboration can help establish effective RRTs that provide a rapid and coordinated response to patients in need. By prioritizing the well-being of patients and fostering a culture of proactive care, hospitals can work towards reducing failure to rescue incidents and ensuring the highest standards of patient safety.

 Dr. Charles Denham

Dr Gregory Botz

Chief William Adcox

Charlie Denham III