This article is based on a recent webinar featuring HealthStream’s Donna Haynes and Alex Harris. Haynes has more than 30 years of healthcare experience as a nurse, clinical educator, and human resources specialist. She has a deep understanding of the importance of high-quality CPR and a passion for providing the kind of training that ensures healthcare providers are prepared to deliver it. Harris helps to connect providers across the continuum of care with HealthStream’s innovative training solutions.
CPR Across the Care Continuum – The Case for High-Quality CPR
Haynes makes the case for improving the quality of CPR by reminding us of the current survival rates for sudden cardiac arrest. While the survival rates for sudden in-hospital cardiac arrest are relatively low—just 23%, the rate gets even worse outside of a hospital, where resuscitation success estimates range from just 2 to 11%.
Where and how healthcare is delivered has changed significantly over the past few years, and the evolution towards shorter inpatient stays and more frequent transfers to alternative care settings is likely to continue. “As more healthcare is delivered outside the walls of acute-care hospitals, we must understand that leaders across the care continuum need to move beyond the traditional activity of simply getting CPR cards and really invest in the kind of training that their employees need—the kind of training that saves lives and improves outcomes,” says Haynes.
It is important to understand that the continuum of care encompasses a vast array of settings; home health, hospice, ambulatory surgery centers, dialysis centers, behavioral health facilities, long-term care and assisted living facilities, and clinics.
Different Settings Have Different Challenges
Haynes points first to the most obvious challenge, which is that the acuity of patients can vary widely by setting. She points out that patients at an ambulatory surgery center and patients at a rehab facility may have very little in common. The other significant difference is length of stay. The care continuum includes both residential and non-residential settings. And in some cases, providers may not have the kind of extensive medical history on the patient that they would be able to access if the patient were in an acute-care setting.
The good news is that codes are much less frequent in these settings, but that’s also the bad news. CPR skills that are refreshed just once every two years will likely not result in high-quality, life-saving CPR. In 2015, the resuscitation guidance to healthcare providers on CPR training was updated. As Harris puts it, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” CPR skills begin to decay in as little as three months, which leaves a significant gap between the recommended training interval—every three months—and the current process in most healthcare settings—once every two years. Harris adds, “Just like their acute-care counterparts, providers across the continuum of care need to receive the highest quality CPR training available and to receive it in a way that is easily accessible and readily available at all times.”
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