When a patient at a UF Health Shands hospital shows signs of cardiopulmonary arrest, sepsis, stroke or another serious condition, an alert process quickly mobilizes a team of physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and often pharmacists to the bedside.
The goal is a perfectly organized, rapid and thorough emergency response. Analyzing and improving that reaction falls to the Clinical Emergency Response Committee, whose mission is simple: Improve the hospitals’ handling of the most urgent or threatening conditions in adult and pediatric patients. The committee constantly scrutinizes information from medical alert incidents and asks detailed debriefing questions, all with the singular aim of excellence.
“We drill down on all the data that’s collected and respond where we think we need to provide additional resources or make improvements,” said committee chair Brenda Fahy, M.D., UF College of Medicine division of critical care medicine anesthesiology chief and department of anesthesiology professor.
The committee’s efforts have led to a system that electronically documents the work performed during a medical alert. Better documentation leads to more effective responses, Fahy said.
Other changes fostered by the committee since its 2013 inception include having a pharmacist at most Code Blue cardiac arrest cases. That has been particularly helpful in terms of medication compliance, protocols and overall patient support, said Rohit Patel, M.D., a UF College of Medicine department of emergency medicine assistant professor and a committee member who co-chairs the adult subcommittee.