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Roadmap for improving the accuracy of respiratory rate measurements
  1. Neil Keshvani,
  2. Kimberly Berger,
  3. Oanh Kieu Nguyen,
  4. Anil N Makam
  1. Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anil N Makam, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390-9169, USA; Anil.Makam{at}

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We thank Dr Wong for his detailed description of the importance of respiratory rate (RR) and his astute reflections on the interactions between predictable human errors and the systems in which humans work. We agree that RR is prone to error because of the human element. However, what is unique to healthcare compared with aviation is not that human error exists, but that tolerance for these errors has become an accepted part of everyday practice.1 We hypothesise that RRs can be measured both accurately and efficiently, but this requires institutional culture change starting with improvements in staff education, expectations and accountability, which can be accomplished through a quality improvement (QI) initiative. We have initiated this process at our own institution.

To guide our local ongoing QI initiative, we mapped the workflows …

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  • Handling editor Kaveh G Shojania

  • Contributors All authors listed have contributed sufficiently to the project to be included as authors, and all those who are qualified to be authors are listed in the author byline.

  • Funding This work is supported in part by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-funded UT Southwestern Center for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (R24HS022418). OKN is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (K23HL133441), and ANM is funded by the National Institute on Aging (K23AG052603).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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