SB 1839 also mandated the development of "Rapid Response Teams" (RRTs) that are used to conduct more comprehensive assessments of facility quality than a single monitor can accomplish. An RRT is made up of two or more Quality Monitors.
The RRT sometimes operates as a "SWAT Team", going unannounced to facilities that have been identified as being particularly problematic based on referral from the state's survey agency or other events or criteria identified by DHS. The RRT may also respond to a request for help from a facility.
The focus of Rapid Response Team visits depends on whether the visit was requested by the facility. For visits requested the facility, the primary focus is on providing technical assistance in areas of special concern to facilities. In this role, the RRTs can operate to provide technical assistance in areas of special concern to facilities, in contrast to the usual protocols of the regular Quality Monitor visits in which the focus areas are pre-determined by program staff. For example, one facility requested the help of an RRT when the new director of nurses noticed that there had been a large number of falls. The RRT visited the facility and reviewed the charts of the residents who had fallen. They discovered some systematic problems such as medication issues that were contributing to the falls. By law, however, the RRTs may not help a facility prepare for a survey, even though that is precisely the type of technical assistance that many seek.
For other RRT visits, the focus is primarily on the issues that caused the facility to be selected for a RRT visit.