Study Finds Clinicians Benefit When Consumers Report Patient Deterioration

April 8, 2024
Patients and visitors were granted access to a rapid response system, which helped alert clinicians earlier in order to start intervention

A new study in the April 2024 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety (JQPS) found that clinicians benefit when consumers act as first reporters of early patient deterioration in a hospital.

Patients themselves, along with “family members and bedside visitors familiar with the patient’s condition,” all play critical roles in detecting patient deterioration, which can lead to “timely intervention and improved outcomes.”

The study at issue specifically monitored reports of early patient deterioration through “an established hospital consumer-initiated escalation-of-care (CIEoC) system” that had two activation pathways: a direct one that “provides consumers with access to the RRS [rapid response system] to report/seek treatment for deteriorating patients,” and an indirect one that “guides consumers to report their concerns to healthcare staff who decide when to call the RRS.”

Researchers administered “a paper survey containing six open-ended questions to new graduate-level to senior-level nurses and physicians,” polling 244 clinicians. Among the findings, researchers noted that “clinicians support consumer reporting and feel consumers are ideally positioned to recognize early deterioration and raise concerns about it,” “management support is required for the consumer escalation process to be effective,” and “some clinicians feel consumers who raise non-urgent concerns delay care to others and increase workload.” Therefore, “educating consumers and staff on escalation protocol is a requirement for success.”

In addition, “updating clinicians annually on consumer participation in the escalation of care through multidisciplinary education, simulation scenarios, and education videos was recommended.”

The Joint Commission’s website has the article.