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  1. Lazzara, Elizabeth H. PhD
  2. Benishek, Lauren E. BS
  3. Sonesh, Shirley C. PhD
  4. Patzer, Brady BS
  5. Robinson, Patricia PhD, ARNP, CPNP, CCRP
  6. Wallace, Ruth MSN
  7. Salas, Eduardo PhD


Delays in care have been cited as one of the primary contributors of preventable mortality; thus, quality patient safety is often contingent upon the delivery of timely clinical care. Rapid response systems (RRSs) have been touted as one mechanism to improve the ability of suitable staff to respond to deteriorating patients quickly and appropriately. Rapid response systems are defined as highly skilled individual(s) who mobilize quickly to provide medical care in response to clinical deterioration. While there is mounting evidence that RRSs are a valid strategy for managing obstetric emergencies, reducing adverse events, and improving patient safety, there remains limited insight into the practices underlying the development and execution of these systems. Therefore, the purpose of this article was to synthesize the literature and answer the primary questions necessary for successfully developing, implementing, and evaluating RRSs within inpatient settings-the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of RRSs.