Selected Topics: Prehospital Care|Articles in Press

Avoiding Escalation to the Emergency Department by Activating an In-Home Rapid Response Team in the 30 Days After Hospital-at-Home Discharge



      Mayo Clinic’s virtual hybrid hospital-at-home program, Advanced Care at Home (ACH) monitors acute and post-acute patients for signs of deterioration and institutes a rapid response (RR) system if detected.


      This study aimed to describe Mayo Clinic’s ACH RR team and its effect on emergency department (ED) use and readmission rates.


      This was a retrospective review of all post-inpatient (restorative phase) ACH patients admitted from July 6, 2020 through June 30, 2021. If the restorative patient had a clinical decompensation, an RR was activated. All RR activations were analyzed for patient demographic characteristics, admitting and escalation diagnosis, time spent by virtual team on the RR, and whether the RR resulted in transport to the ED or hospital readmission.


      Three hundred and twenty patients were admitted to ACH during the study interval; 230 received restorative care. Seventy-two patients (31.3%) had events that triggered an RR. Fifty (69.4%) of the RR events were related to the admission diagnosis (p < 0.001; 95% CI 0.59–0.80). Twelve patients (16.7%) required transport to an ED for further treatment and were readmitted and 60 patients (83.3%) were able to be treated successfully in the home by the RR team (p < 0.001; 95% CI 0.08–0.25).


      The use of an ACH RR team was effective at limiting both escalations back to an ED and hospital readmissions, as 83% of deteriorating patients were successfully stabilized and managed in their homes. Implementing a hospital-at-home RR team can reduce the need for ED use by providing critical resources and carrying out required interventions to stabilize the patient's condition.


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