HeartCode: How Much Preventable Resuscitation Harm Can We Accept?
September 02, 2015
By Donna Haynes, MSN, RN-C, CNE, PHR, HealthStream
The most recent American Heart Association (AHA) statistics (Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics- 2013 Update) for death from heart disease are grim. Every 34 seconds someone in this country has a cardiac event and about every minute, one person dies of a coronary event. All total there are 635,000 new cardiac events annually. Hospital resuscitation survival rates continue to hover around 18 to 24%. That’s a staggering number. Statistically speaking, very few people who code in a hospital will make it home to see their loved ones.
We can do better and we should.
As an industry, we no longer have to accept an 80% failure (and death) rate in CPR and we don’t have to defend this low success rate as acceptable care. Our patients, families and communities are counting on us to look beyond the status quo and provide the best possible CPR available. The AHA has also stated in the June 2013 Consensus Statement that it considers poor quality CPR should be considered a “preventable harm.”
Hospitals are discovering that the AHA’s HeartCode program can transform their staff CPR skills, double resuscitation success rates, and save lives. HeartCode is an official AHA self-directed e-learning program that allows students to take BLS, ACLS, and PALS training on the computer instead of attending a traditional classroom-based CPR course. It also features live code simulations and voice-assisted manikins (VAM) that are key to effective hands-on training.
High-quality CPR ventilation and compression depth/rates are very specific and, when HeartCode is implemented, very measurable in training. According to most recent research, HeartCode is an efficient route to standardize your CPR program and to train confident, competent caregivers that perform high-quality CPR for every patient, every time.
The VAMs, which are part of HeartCode skills practice and testing, can bring an entirely new level of expertise to your facility and provide measurable consistency of skill teaching while also ensuring the retention of skills. The Resuscitation Journal found in a study that using VAMs for CPR training increased correct inflation rates by 64% and increased correct depth and performance of compressions to 92%. That is a staggering improvement over traditional classroom instruction and allows for a much higher level of care to our patients. The VAMs also have been proven to provide important psychomotor learning required for performing well under the stress of live code situation.
Besides providing better outcomes, hospital leaders also love HeartCode because it’s a better solution at a lower cost. HeartCode cuts BLS training time down from 4 hours to 2 and the ACLS 16 hour class time is reduced to anywhere from 4 to 10 hours. This means you’re not paying staff for as many hours, nor are you having to replace them on the floor. Also, because it is normally presented on-site, there are no travel costs. Lastly, the computers and manikins don’t call in sick or cancel training as instructors sometimes must do.
Admins love HeartCode for the cost savings, staff love it for the accessibility, consistency of training, and increased level of confidence. At one facility where I worked we increased training completion and eliminated staff frustration of trying to find a live class before certification expired. With HeartCode, we jumped from 79% compliance rate to in CPR certification to 97% compliance.
Caregivers who have been through multiple CPR classes with different instructors know that differences in trainers result in different skill sets. By providing highly standardized content, training becomes very consistent which translates to staff being more confident in competency to respond and it also boosts knowledge retention. HeartCode offers a documented 83% retention rate instead of the typical 58% retention rate from traditional classroom instruction. Again, this leads to better patient outcomes. When outcomes improve, customer satisfaction improves and scores go up. Most staff, even long time veteran nurses, strongly prefer HeartCode over traditional classroom instruction.
Recently, a large, multi-system health care organization presented at the HealthStream Summit. They shared that since they have gone to HeartCode-only training for CPR, outcomes jumped from 20 to 40 percent. That’s right, they doubled their survival rate.
Whether your facility is acute, post-acute, low-census, or high-census... it really doesn’t matter when it comes to saving lives. What does matter is that when a code occurs, your staff is ready, confident, and competent.
As a nurse told me recently after recertifying for the first time with HeartCode instead of a live classroom, “if you really care about your patients you will use HeartCode because you know you have validated your ability to perform CPR.”
Did you miss the webinar series?
Click the links below to listen to the recordings:
- 7/22 Webinar: Creating a Culture of Sustainability: Taking the Lead with your HeartCode Program Webinar Recording
- 6/23 Webinar: HeartCode Readiness Assessment and Annual Program Review Webinar Recording
- 5/14 Webinar: Mastering the HeartCode Algorithm Webinar Recording
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