Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas


By adopting the American Heart Association’s HeartCode® program, Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas:

  • Increased staff confidence and competence in delivering high-quality CPR - ultimately resulting in an improvement in the rate of return in spontaneous circulation (ROSC) by 16% over four years
  • Reduced time staff spent in classroom training by nearly 50%
  • Saved an average of $75,000 per year and more than $400,000 in the four years of using HeartCode


For more than sixty years, Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas has been dedicated to providing quality health services in a Christian environment. Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas is a not-for-profit, community-owned healthcare facility with 508 beds and over 700 licensed nurses. It has been a Magnet® designated facility since 2007 and it is the only Chest Pain Certified facility in Southeast Texas. Baptist started using HealthStream in 2005 and adopted HeartCode in 2008. Even though the hospital was content with the classroom method of CPR training, hospital leadership saw the opportunity to improve CPR training with evidence-based practice by adopting Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS).


Before adopting HeartCode, Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas identified the need for accurate assessment of BLS skills and a more efficient method of educating staff. Hospital leadership adopted HeartCode to help address these needs and to be more standardized and objective with their CPR training. A policy change was made by nursing administration requiring all full-time employees to take HeartCode BLS and ACLS for recertification. With a small Education Department and a facility-wide change in training method, staff was uncomfortable with the didactic online portion and the skills check-offs on the Voice-Assisted Manikins (VAMs). To ensure HeartCode’s success, the Education Department took necessary steps to accelerate the program’s adoption.

As an instructor, it’s difficult to see whether or not the chest compressions are deep enough and sometimes it’s hard to tell whether or not they are hard enough to do what’s required in a real-life situation.
— Michelle Hutto, RN, BLS & PALS Instructor


Baptist posted flyers and posters in the skills lab that explained how to log into the course and provided advice on the skills practice and testing with the VAM. Since learners were struggling with passing the skills portion on the VAM, they adjusted the height of the table for compressions. The lower table drastically helped learners succeed. When HeartCode was first adopted, a facilitator was not available during skills practice and testing, and it was self-guided. To help combat the frustration some first time users experienced with the VAMs, skills check-off faciliators are available by appointment to help guide the session and explain the importance of how HeartCode is more like real life. Skills practice and testing together now take about 15 minutes with the facilitator, and now there are over 100 skills check-offs per month. The Education Department offers “Computer Assist Days” for learners lacking computer skills to navigate through Part 1, which is the online, cognitive portion.


As a requirement for hiring or continued employment, Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas now only accepts AHA cards completed through HeartCode to emphasize the importance of high-quality CPR with this program. Using HealthStream and HeartCode, the facility can easily track and report expired certifications. Not only do staff members feel confident in their ability to perform high-quality CPR consistently, but instructors also feel confident because VAMs measure objectively and without any ambiguity. As a result of its overwhelming success with HeartCode BLS and ACLS, Baptist now uses HeartCode Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).

Since launching their HeartCode program four years ago, Baptist has tracked Code Blue Response Rates and has found their ROSC rate has improved from 54% to 70%. HeartCode also acts as a revenue generator for the hospital because they charge non-employees to take the course. Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas has saved more than $400,000 with HeartCode, and staff now feel more confident knowing that they are bettered prepared to face a critical situation.

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