Condition Help is a safety hotline patients and families may call when there is a change in the patient's condition and the patient or family is unable to get the attention of a health care provider.
When hospital operators receive a Condition Help call, a rapid response team is activated to address the concern.
The Condition Help program provides a hotline for hospital patients and their families to call when there is:
UPMC is the forerunner among hospitals in the United States for the use of rapid response teams to address urgent patient concerns.
We began using Condition Help to empower patients and their visitors to help prevent medical errors and breakdowns in communication regarding patient care.
In the early 2000s, leadership at UPMC Shadyside decided that there needed to be a program to help prevent the sort of communication breakdowns that resulted in the death of 18-month-old Josie King at a large east coast hospital.
Condition Help started at UPMC Shadyside, then spread to UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the rest of the organization.
Every Condition Help call immediately brings a rapid response team to the patient's bedside and includes a follow-up meeting the next day, to serve as a learning experience for the staff.
Condition Help is nonpunitive; staff members will not get in trouble if a patient calls a Condition Help. The goal is to make patients and their family members as integral parts of the care team.