Critical care outreach and rapid response teams: Are they the panacea to all hospital patient deterioration problems?

21 Feb 2024

Critical care outreach (CCOT) and rapid response teams (RRT) were established in the early 2000s in the UK and Australia, in the absence of evidence, like much in healthcare. The premise was that a hospital-wide team with a specific remit to manage medical emergencies, would help prevent avoidable (or facilitate timely) critical care admissions (McQuillan et al., 1998). In the UK, CCOT was established nationally, to support the delivery of ‘critical care without walls’, a now well-worn phrase (Department of Health, 2000). Evidence for CCOT services remains equivocal, partly due to lack of intervention studies (McGaughey et al., 2021), and observational studies seeking to evaluate a nebulous and nascent practice in the early 2000s.

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