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  1. Miles, Iman DNP, MBA, BSN, RN, NEA-BC
  2. Anderson, Maighdlin DNP, ACNP-BC, FCCM
  3. Ren, Dianxu MD, PhD
  4. Coker, Tamara MS, ANP-BC, ACNS-BC, CCRN
  5. Fennimore, Laura DNP, RN, CNE, NEA-BC, FAAN


Background: Cardiac arrests are often preceded by several hours of physiological deterioration that may go undetected.


Local Problem: Cardiac arrests frequently occurred on medical-surgical units without prior rapid response team intervention.


Methods: A pre/postintervention design was used to evaluate a protocol to guide the use of the Modified Early Warning Score (MEWS) by medical-surgical nurses to escalate the care of deteriorating adult patients.


Interventions: Following staff education, the MEWS protocol was implemented across 8 medical-surgical units.


Results: There was a significant increase in patients experiencing a rapid response prior to a cardiac arrest after implementing the MEWS protocol (P < .0001).


Conclusion: Implementing a consistent review of MEWS values allows medical-surgical nurses to initiate assistance from a rapid response team that may prevent an inpatient cardiac arrest.