Korean J Crit Care Med.  2017 May;32(2):133-141. 10.4266/kjccm.2016.01011.

A Pilot Study of the Effectiveness of Medical Emergency System Implementation at a Single Center in Korea

  • 1Division of Pulmonology, Department of Internal Medicine, Institute of Chest Diseases, Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. chungks@yuhs.ac
  • 2Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Ewha Medical Research Institute, Ewha Womans University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Division of Medical Information and Technology, Yonsei University Health System, Seoul, Korea.


An automatic alarm system was developed was developed for unexpected vital sign instability in admitted patients to reduce staffing needs and costs related to rapid response teams. This was a pilot study of the automatic alarm system, the medical emergency system (MES), and the aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the MES before expanding this system to all departments.
This retrospective, observational study compared the performance of patients admitted to the pulmonary department at a single center using patient data from three 3-month periods (before implementation of the MES, December 2013-February 2014; after implementation of the MES, December 2014-February 2015 and December 2015-February 2016).
A total of 571 patients were admitted to the pulmonary department during the three observation periods. During this pilot study, the MES automatically issued 568 alarms for 415 admitted patients. There was no significant difference in the rate of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before and after application of the MES. The mortality rate also did not change. However, it appeared that CPR was prevented in four patients admitted from the general ward to the intensive care unit (ICU) during MES implementation. The median length of hospital stay and median length of ICU stay were not significantly different before and after MES implementation.
Although we did not find a significant improvement in outcomes upon MES implementation, the CPR rate and mortality rate did not increase despite increased comorbidities. This was a small pilot study and, based on these results, we believe that the MES may have significant effects in longer-term and larger-scale studies.


clinical alarms; critical care; intensive care units; internal medicine; monitoring, physiologic
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