BACKGROUND

Pediatric patients with behavioral needs are frequently admitted to the hospital for medical care; when behavioral crises occur, patients and staff are at risk for injury. Our aim was to implement a behavior response team (BRT) to increase the days between employee injury due to aggressive patient interactions on the inpatient medical units from 99 to 150 over 1 year.

METHODS

A multidisciplinary team used quality improvement methods to design and implement the BRT system that includes 2 options: huddle to proactively plan for patients exhibiting early signs of escalation and STAT for immediate help for patients with imminent risk of harm to self or others. Using run and statistical process control charts, we tracked events per month, days between Occupational Safety & Health Administration-recordable events, and violent restraint use over time for 1 year after implementation. Staff pre and postimplementation surveys were compared to assess staff perception of safety and support provided by the BRT intervention.

RESULTS

The BRT was implemented across the inpatient system in July 2020, with an average number of 13 events per month. Days between Occupational Safety & Health Administration-recordable events remained stable with a maximum of 134 days. Restraint use remained stable at 0.74 per 1000 patient days. The perception of behavioral support available to staff increased significantly pre to postsurvey.

CONCLUSIONS

The implementation of a BRT can improve staff perception of support and confidence in safely caring for patients with behavior needs on the inpatient medical unit, although additional provider- and system-level improvements are needed to prevent employee injuries.

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