Failure to Rescue

Signs that a patient's condition is deteriorating can occur up to eight hours prior to a cardiac arrest or code blue event. Up to 70 percent of these events could be prevented by calling a rapid response team (RRT). Implementation of an early warning system (EWS) and a hospital RRT has been shown to reduce out-of-ICU cold blues by 50 percent.

Strategies and Tools

Participating hospitals implemented and monitored early warning systems that score patients' status based on their clinical condition including lab results, oxygen saturation, vital signs and urine output. Hospitals also reviewed RRT and code blue processes and policies.

Key Strategies - Early Interventions

Additional Resources

IHI Improvement Story - Early Warning Systems: Scorecards That Save Lives


Amber Theel
(206) 577-1820