eCite Digital Repository

Resource use, governance and case load of rapid response teams in Australia and New Zealand in 2014


Jones, D and Pilcher, D and Boots, R and Carter, A and Turner, A and Hicks, P and Nicholls, M and Currey, J and Erickson, S and Stephens, D and Pinder, M and Psirides, A and Barrett, J and Chalwin, R and Bellomo, R and Hillman, K and Buist, M and Parker, J and Huckson, S, Resource use, governance and case load of rapid response teams in Australia and New Zealand in 2014, Critical Care and Resuscitation, 18, (4) pp. 275-282. ISSN 1441-2772 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand

Official URL:


Background: Rapid response teams (RRTs) are a mandatory element of Australian national health care policy. However, the uptake, resourcing, case load and funding of RRTs in Australian and New Zealand hospitals remain unknown.

Aim: To assess the clinical activity, funding, staffing and governance of RRTs in Australian and New Zealand hospitals.

Methods: Survey of Australian and New Zealand hospitals as part of a biannual audit of intensive care resources and capacity.

Results: Of 207 hospitals surveyed, 165 (79.7%) participated, including 22 (13.3%) from New Zealand. RRTs were present in 138/143 (95.5%) Australian and 11/22 (50%) New Zealand hospitals equipped with intensive care units (P < 0.001). Additional funding was provided in 43/146 hospitals (29.4%) but was more likely in tertiary ICUs (P < 0.001) and in New Zealand (P = 0.012). ICU staff participated in 147/148 RRTs (99.3%), which involved medical staff only (10.2%), nursing staff only (6.8%), and both medical and nursing staff (76.2%). Isolated ICU nursing involvement was more common in smaller ICUs (P = 0.005), in rural/regional and metropolitan hospitals (P = 0.04), and in New Zealand (P = 0.006). Dedicated ICU outreach registrars and consultants were present in 19/146 hospitals (13.0%) and 14/145 hospitals (9.7%), respectively. The ICU provided oversight for 122/147 RRTs (83%). In the 201314 financial year, there were more than 104 000 RRT calls.

Conclusion: In cases where data were known, ICU staff provided staff for most RRTs, and oversight for more than 80% of RRTs. However, additional funding for ICU RRT staff and dedicated doctors was relatively uncommon.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:heart arrest, hospital rapid response team, warning score, Australia New Zealand
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Clinical sciences not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Buist, M (Professor Michael Buist)
ID Code:120879
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:17
Deposited By:Office of the School of Medicine
Deposited On:2017-08-31
Last Modified:2019-07-29

Repository Staff Only: item control page