Decision Support Tool for Prevention of Failure to Rescue Events

A clinical decision support tool for minimizing failure to rescue events at hospitals.

Failure to rescue (FTR) is a serious issue in patient safety and healthcare quality for hospitalized patients. The term implies that rescue is possible, and death is, therefore, a failure. On any given day across the country, two-thirds of deaths in hospitals could be judged as preventable. In 2005, the Institute of Healthcare Improvement’s 100,000 Lives campaign identified FTR as one of six key safety initiatives.

The Need

Early recognition of signs of deterioration and effective management of those signs is critical for reducing the number of FTR events. Current systems and methods for recognizing and encouraging timely response to such events rely heavily on hospital staff knowing the signs of deterioration and the contribution of a number of clinical parameters to patient well-being. Addressing the implications of FTR on hospital-related mortality, nurse staffing, and job satisfaction is paramount for enhancing the overall quality of patient care.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University have developed a system and tool for visually indicating to a healthcare worker when a patient’s condition is deteriorating and may need assistance. The tool also provides suggestions for actions to take to assist the patient to avoid further deterioration of health. It is envisioned that the tool can be implemented on iPads and hospital computers and integrated with electronic health records.


  • Improved Patient Outcomes: Use of the tool leads to enhanced clinical skills, reducing errors and improving overall patient care.
  • Reduced Failure to Rescue Occurrences: Consistent use of the tool contributes to a decrease in FTR-related incidents.
  • Quality Improvement: Reduce FTR occurrences and enhance hospital quality indicators.

Patent application pending

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