BMC Geriatr. 2023 Jul 11;23(1):425. doi: 10.1186/s12877-023-03947-6.
BACKGROUND: The outcomes of rapid response systems (RRS) are poorly established in older people. We examined the outcomes in older inpatients at a tertiary hospital that uses a 2-tier RRS, including the outcomes of each tier.
METHODS: The 2-tier RRS comprised the clinical review call (CRC) (tier one) and the medical emergency team call (MET) (tier two). We compared the outcomes in four configurations of MET and CRC (MET with CRC; MET without CRC; CRC without MET; neither MET nor CRC). The primary outcome was in-hospital death, and secondary outcomes were length of stay (LOS) and new residential facility placement. Statistical analyses were carried out using Fisher's exact tests, Kruskal-Wallis tests, and logistic regression.
RESULTS: A total of 433 METs and 1,395 CRCs occurred among 3,910 consecutive admissions of mean age 84 years. The effect of a MET on death was unaffected by the occurrence of a CRC. The rates of death for MET ± CRC, and CRC without MET, were 30.5% and 18.5%, respectively. Patients having one or more MET ± CRC (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 4.04, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.96-5.52), and those having one or more CRC without MET (aOR 2.22, 95% CI 1.68-2.93), were more likely to die in adjusted analysis. Patients who required a MET ± CRC were more likely to be placed in a high-care residential facility (aOR 1.52, 95% CI 1.03-2.24), as were patients who required a CRC without MET (aOR 1.61, 95% CI 1.22-2.14). The LOS of patients who required a MET ± CRC, and CRC without MET, was longer than that of patients who required neither (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Both MET and CRC were associated with increased likelihood of death and new residential facility placement, after adjusting for factors such as age, comorbidity, and frailty. These data are important for patient prognostication, discussions on goals of care, and discharge planning. The high death rate of patients requiring a CRC (without a MET) has not been previously reported, and may suggest that CRCs among older inpatients should be expediated and attended by senior medical personnel.