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MET takes centre stage

One of the most revolutionary hospital patient care protocols in medical history, the Medical Emergency Team (MET), was placed in the spotlight at the Ingham Institute and SWSLHD 10th Annual Research and Teaching Showcase.

The MET system was born out of Liverpool Hospital 25 years ago and is now the global mandate for patient treatment. A progressive concept that challenged historical patient care methods, MET calls are made via a phone call or emergency button which alerts hospital staff to a patient experiencing specific warning signs such as elevated heart rate and low blood pressure.

The MET usually consists of an Intensive Care doctor, a senior Intensive Care nurse and a Medical Registrar who have advanced resuscitation skills. The team is available 24-hours, seven days a week.

The creator of MET, Professor Ken Hillman, Liverpool Hospital Intensivist and Director of the Simpson Centre for Health Services Research, said that he developed the concept in the UK after seeing a number of patients deteriorate quickly with dire consequences. On reflection the patients had warning signs that could have been managed much earlier and lives saved.

“My MET system journey started at Liverpool Hospital in 1990. It was emerging as a major research and teaching hospital so it was a great place to introduce new concepts and change thinking from the bottom up,” said Professor Hillman.

The success of MET skyrocketed quickly when it was rolled out in hospitals throughout NSW in 1994. Today MET stands tall as the global treatment standard in hospitals across Australia, the UK, Northern Europe, Asia, Canada and the USA.

Professor Hillman, who headlined as a speaker at the Showcase, said that the 25 year anniversary of MET was a very proud moment.