The addition of family involvement in 2007 and activation of the responding team led to an even greater improvement in the system with a significantly increased number of calls to the team as well as an increased focus on family involvement with patient safety.


We conducted a prospective observational study to evaluate the effect of family education and empowerment to directly activate a pediatric rapid response team on pediatric cardiac arrests and rapid response team activation rates. Family activation was piloted in one unit for design and improvement changes prior to implementation throughout the entire pediatric acute care areas. Posters, education, focus groups, family interviews, and mock calls were completed during the implementation period.


After implementation, the mean number of pediatric rapid response team activations increased significantly from 16 to 24 activations per 1000 discharges. Family concern was documented as a reason for activation in 5% of all activations, and only two family activations of the pediatric rapid response team occurred in the first year of family activation. The overall increase in activations of the team by medical staff members was likely due to increased staff knowledge and barrier removal through the incorporation of family education regarding the team.

PRRS Family Activation


Ray EM, Smith R, Massie S, Erickson J, Hanson C, Willis TS. Family alert: implementing direct family activation of a pediatric rapid response system. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2009 Nov;35(11):575-80.

Visit the current PRRS website here.