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Advances in Resuscitation Training with HCA and the American Red Cross

May 24, 2022
May 24, 2022

This blog post is taken from a recent LinkedIn live event moderated by HealthStream’s Luther Cale, Vice President of Clinical Programs and featured Dr. David Markenson, Chief Medical Officer for the American Red Cross and Justin Laferty, Corporate Director of Simulation and Technology for HCA Healthcare. This event addressed key advancements in resuscitation training with a focus on the future of resuscitation and educational outcomes.

Resuscitation – What You Should Know About the Latest Science

Dr. Markenson began by addressing the latest resuscitation science and key developments in the American Red Cross Resuscitation SuiteTM. First, he addressed the rapid pace of change and the challenge of balancing innovation and education. “The American Red Cross does a continuous evidence evaluation to make sure that we have the latest science and that it gets into the hands of providers, but the other part is to make sure that the science is broad enough for providers,” said Dr. Markenson.

In addition, the American Red Cross is one of the few programs to address the importance of recognition and early intervention in sepsis. The Surviving Sepsis campaign has made significant evidence-based guidelines which have been incorporated into the American Red Cross Resuscitation SuiteTM as of 2021.

Dr. Markenson also points to the emerging recognition of the importance of understanding the diversity of populations and the importance of understanding the different etiologies of cardiac arrest. In addition to sepsis, Dr. Markenson pointed out the importance of the recognition of hepatic issues and the importance of understanding other patient populations such as neonatal, pregnant women, and the elderly.

Resuscitation Education – A Success Story

Laferty shared his experience with implementing the American Red Cross Resuscitation SuiteTM with HealthStream to HCA’s 275,000 employees, 90,000 of which are nurses. He began by sharing that the first step was simply identifying the various means by which the organizations’ 185 hospitals, 140 ambulatory surgery centers and physician office practices were currently providing resuscitation training. Laferty discovered that there were many different approaches including everything from homegrown efforts to blended learning efforts to third-party services.

Attracted by the science, ease of use, flexibility, adaptability, and the interval learning offered by HealthStream & the American Red Cross, HCA and Laferty began the process of transitioning to the program. Laferty chose to begin with a pilot in one market and then expanded the program over the course of one year. “It was not a short rollout. It was something that we did very deliberately over the course of one year,” said Laferty. While he admitted that it was a challenge to get everyone on board, there was a feature that made fans out of those who initially had reservations. As team members were introduced to the program, they realized that it was adaptive and provided personalized learning plans for each individual. This allows highly skilled and trained individuals to reduce their resuscitation training time.

Partnerships That Work

Ultimately, the features of this program won HCA over, but Laferty and HCA realized that partnership is important too. Laferty shared that his role as Corporate Director of Simulation and Technology is “to create opportunities to get employees more hands-on and more familiar with the updated resuscitation science and accomplishing this through HealthStream was very nice.”

Laferty also shared that changing policy around resuscitation training was an easy choice. “Our partners and HR leadership knew the importance of bringing in the American Red Cross and doing so in a way that would not waste time and effort,” said Laferty. He went on to share that people come to HCA with valid knowledge and skills so per diems, surge staff and staff coming from other facilities did not need to take the American Red Cross portion all over again. The policy change was supported by the science that is validated by both the American Red Cross and the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) which made the decision to make the transition easier for Laferty and HCA.

Scalable, Flexible Solutions for Resuscitation Training

While a slow and deliberate rollout will be the way this program is typically introduced, when there is a high level of operational readiness, the implementation can happen much more quickly. Dr. Markenson shared that the entire U.S. military converted to the program in about one month. Dr. Markenson credited a great pre-planning effort as well as the standardization of transition tools and visual aids and the fact that the existing program was based on solid science. In addition, even though it was necessary to transition tens of thousands of instructors in just weeks, it was achievable because the instructors could complete the course online, at their own pace, at times that were convenient for them.

Dr. Markenson also stressed the importance of educational outcomes. “Anything that we can do to achieve competency in a more efficient manner means more care for those individuals who are seeking care at our institutions. The fact that the American Red Cross, in partnership with HealthStream, has come up with some of these great educational innovations that allow flexibility is really inspiring because it allows more time to be spent at the bedside with people who need our care,” said Dr. Markenson.

State-of-the-Art Training Meets Self-Efficacy

Lastly, Dr. Markenson pointed to the winning strategy of providing flexible education, the latest in medical and educational science and the latest clinical data. Instead of simply ensuring that learners had the skills and knowledge required, now those skills and knowledge are combined with self-efficacy and critical decision making that results in the kinds of tools that can prepare providers to save lives.

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