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AHRQ Patient Safety Network ► Cost-benefit analysis of a medical emergency team in a children's hospital.

AHRQ Patient Safety Network

Implementation of a rapid response team may prove cost-effective if it leads to the avoidance of a modest number of serious deteriorations each year.
Pediatrics. 2014;134:235-241.

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Cost-benefit analysis of a medical emergency team in a children's hospital.

Bonafide CP, Localio AR, Song L, et al. Pediatrics. 2014;134:235-241.

Medical emergency teams (METs) have been widely implemented in hospitals, with some evidencesuggesting that they may be effective at reducing serious clinical deteriorations. This study aimed to create a financial model to determine the potential benefits and costs of operating an MET at a children's hospital. Relying on various derived calculations, the authors estimate that the care of patients who experience a critical deterioration during hospitalization costs nearly $100,000 more following the event compared with other patients who transfer to an intensive care unit. The annual costs of operating an MET range widely, anywhere from $287,000 to $2.3 million, depending on who is staffed and whether the team has concurrent responsibilities or is freestanding. Under a bundled payment system—where a health system is paid a fixed reimbursement for a hospitalization—most MET team configurations would prove cost-effective if they successfully avoid a modest number of critical deteriorations each year. A prior AHRQ WebM&M perspectivediscusses early lessons of medical emergency teams.

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