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Rapid response systems and collective (in)competence: An exploratory analysis of intraprofessional and interprofessional activation factors


Kitto, S and Marshall, SD and McMillan, SE and Shearer, B and Buist, M and Grant, R and Finnigan, M and Wilson, S, Rapid response systems and collective (in)competence: An exploratory analysis of intraprofessional and interprofessional activation factors, Journal of Interprofessional Care, 29, (4) pp. 340-346. ISSN 1356-1820 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Informa UK Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.3109/13561820.2014.984021


The rapid response system (RRS) is a patient safety initiative instituted to enable healthcare professionals to promptly access help when a patient's status deteriorates. Despite patients meeting the criteria, up to one-third of the RRS cases that should be activated are not called, constituting a "missed RRS call". Using a case study approach, 10 focus groups of senior and junior nurses and physicians across four hospitals in Australia were conducted to gain greater insight into the social, professional and cultural factors that mediate the usage of the RRS. Participants' experiences with the RRS were explored from an interprofessional and collective competence perspective. Health professionals' reasons for not activating the RRS included: distinct intraprofessional clinical decision-making pathways; a highly hierarchical pathway in nursing, and a more autonomous pathway in medicine; and interprofessional communication barriers between nursing and medicine when deciding to make and actually making a RRS call. Participants also characterized the RRS as a work-around tool that is utilized when health professionals encounter problematic interprofessional communication. The results can be conceptualized as a form of collective incompetence that have important implications for the design and implementation of interprofessional patient safety initiatives, such as the RRS.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:case study, collective competence, focus groups, interprofessional collaboration, rapid response system, socio-cultural factors
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Evaluation of health outcomes
UTAS Author:Buist, M (Professor Michael Buist)
ID Code:106223
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:34
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2016-02-03
Last Modified:2017-11-05

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