TROY — Premier Health hospitals have implemented a new program to enable staff to maintain high-level cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills through more frequent high quality training.
The American Heart Association’s Resuscitation Quality Improvement Program (RQI) emphasizes quarterly training with real-time feedback to ensure resuscitation skills remain high. The system is intended to improve Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) skills, according to the heart association.
Traditional CPR training programs are based on evaluation every two years, often in a classroom setting.
“It is so exciting to implement this innovative education at Premier Health. We want the best learning opportunities for our employees, and the best outcome for our patients. This program will help us to do both,” said Trish Wackler, director of education for the Premier Health Learning Institute.
RQI combines online testing of the cognitive elements and hands-on testing of individual psychomotor skills by performing CPR at simulation stations using adult and infant simulator mannequins.
The health care professional performs chest compressions and ventilations on the mannequins, which are connected to a computer and a learning management system. The computer determines, both by voice and picture, if the procedures were done at correct speed, depth and release, in addition to calculating correct hand placement, pauses in care and ventilation techniques.
“It’s truly a comprehensive evaluation of the total resuscitation effort,” Wackler said.
Enrollment in the RQI training began in April and continues this summer. Approximately 3,000 staff members — including nurses, patient care technicians, and a portion of the respiratory therapy departments — have enrolled. The goal is to enroll all staff whose job requires a current CPR/ACLS certification.
“Classroom learning has been in place for many years and, while still effective, does not provide the high level of objective learning and feedback that RQI does,” Wackler said. “This type of learning not only meets best practice for maintenance of competency, but also allows for the learner to determine when their education will occur, which is key in learner satisfaction and retention of information.”
Feedback from staff has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Staff were sometime surprised at how easy it was, how good the computerized feedback was at evaluating their skills, and what a relief to know they were actually doing the good job they thought they were doing,” Wackler said.