This blog is taken from a recent HealthStream webinar entitled “Improving Resuscitation Care with EmpRes Healthcare.” The webinar was hosted by HealthStream’s Drew Casteel, and featured Patty Burke, Key Account Manager, HealthStream and Jodi Michaelson, Director of Health Informatics/EHR Support EmpRes Healthcare Management.
Ensuring that resuscitation proficiencies are achieved in the skilled nursing facility, home health and assisted living settings requires an integrated approach. During this webinar, EmpRes Healthcare Management shared their experience with the American Red Cross Resuscitation SuiteTM. EmpRes Healthcare is a leading healthcare management provider that offers a wide variety of services including skilled nursing, assisted living, independent living, home health, and hospice services across 82 locations.
EmpRes Healthcare made their decision to switch to the Red Cross Resuscitation Suite during the pandemic. Early in the pandemic, Michaelson found that EmpRes still needed to source a program for certifications and re-certifications while limiting the traffic at each facility. It was then that Michaelson discovered a solution that would allow EmpRes to meet these requirements without having to send outside instructors to facilities when visits were extremely restricted.
Prior to switching to the American Red Cross Resuscitation Suite, EmpRes was using on-site certified instructors with the exception of some rural locations where it was necessary to send staff to larger cities where the training was more readily available. “The pandemic meant that we really needed a different solution and having something internal was the answer. Looking back, I’m thrilled that we made this choice, despite the fact that it was driven in part by the pandemic,” said Michaelson.
In addition, Michaelson shared that the time savings was a huge factor in their satisfaction with the program. Solutions that require a full day away from the center just do not work in the midst of a staffing crisis. The American Red Cross Resuscitation Suite can be taken at a time that is convenient for staff and takes considerably less time than other options which means that staff are off of their units for much shorter periods of time.
Michaelson acknowledged that it would likely have been easier to make the transition if it were not for the pandemic. The implementation was delayed somewhat as EmpRes dealt with COVID-related restrictions and requirements which put the implementation on the back burner. Training on the new system was delayed as staff shifted assignments and worked to cover the needs of patients and residents. In addition, supply chain issues made it somewhat difficult to get the mannequins and other required equipment.
Michaelson also shared that in retrospect she wished that she would have arranged for all of the equipment to be sent directly to her rather than to individual locations. Doing so would have allowed Michaelson to check and be sure that batteries were in place and that the equipment would be completely ready when it arrived at each site. In addition, the IT department would have been able to log each device into their system prior to being shipped to their final destinations. This allows all equipment to be completely ready to use by the time that training is scheduled.
She went on to recommend that all training be scheduled as close to the actual implementation date as possible to avoid the need for refresher classes – something that the pandemic made very difficult. She also encouraged new users to consider having 2-3 “super-users” at each site to help enroll students and orient them to the new training. In addition, Michaelson also had high praise for the HealthStream team that delivered some supportive onsite training prior to implementation that helped them easily transition to the new solution.
In addition to the significant time savings, Michaelson shared that the American Red Cross Resuscitation Suite allowed for decentralization of the training process. The individual centers were able to manage their own programs thereby allowing leaders to manage due dates and resources to ensure that their staff had what they needed.
Staff feedback has been positive. They no longer need to coordinate outside resources to provide the training and staff no longer need to travel to get to where the training is offered. The onsite availability makes it easier to accomplish the training in a timely manner.
The feedback from certified instructors has been particularly gratifying. The instructors report that they feel that students are getting a much more fine-tuned lesson on the skills training because the mannequin is able to provide the kind of feedback that simply is not possible from visual observation. Because the mannequin is designed to be extremely realistic, students are able to better appreciate what it is like to actually perform CPR including how difficult it can be to assess things like chest compression depth and adequate ventilation. It also helps them to understand how tiring it can be.
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