Pandemic Challenges Lead to Innovation in Resuscitation Training

April 8, 2021
April 8, 2021

There are times when healthcare challenges and crises also lead to long-term innovation. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the risk of viral transmission due to personal contact is an enormous concern, healthcare organizations are looking at all standard processes and procedures and finding ways to make them safer. Healthcare training is one unchanged area where it has long been standard practice for classes to be conducted in person, with an instructor speaking to an audience. COVID-19 makes traditional instructor-led, classroom-based training extremely problematic.

Simulating Resuscitation Procedures During COVID-19

A recent HealthStream webinar, Enhancing Resuscitation Education During a Crisis Through Innovation, featured Russell Metcalfe-Smith, Director of Simulation at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a non-profit institution in urban Los Angeles with around 850 beds and 500,000 admissions annually. Metcalfe-Smith discussed his team’s efforts to promote widespread adoption of a resuscitation training solution that matched the demands of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Expanding Online Resuscitation Training to the Entire Organization

Cedars-Sinai already had around a decade of experience with training residents and fellows for resuscitation via automated, manikin-based simulation assessments. Most recently, this has been accomplished through HealthStream using the American Red Cross Resuscitation Suite. With the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the simulation department was tasked with providing “all CPR assessment training for the entire institution.” This would allow some providers to go back into clinical care as well as maximize the number of staff members available for beside patient care. During the first wave of the pandemic, approximately 800 staffers were trained, and they had 95+% success rates on their first attempt. The big win for Cedars-Sinai was the ability to keep most staff in the clinical environment and have employees be released to the Simulation Center for individual assessment appointments.

Multiple Institutional Benefits, in Addition to Greater Safety

Cedars Sinai was able to avoid the backfill costs of having clinicians attend training classes together. It also was able to use less expensive, non-clinical administrative employees to manage simulations, which involved “one mannequin, one iPad, and about 35 minutes per individual to come down and do that assessment.” According to Metcalfe-Smith, “even in the middle of a pandemic, we were seeing more people passing their CPR training than had ever gone through classroom-based education over the past five years.” An even greater advantage was the level of objective assessment being applied to all staff. This meant that “Everything was being assessed in the same way, in the same method, which could be replicated by everyone in the institution.” This way, Cedars-Sinai could “know that if people passed their life support education, ventilations would be within the recommended parameters of the guidelines.”

The Value of Improved Competency Across the Organization

At this point, everybody at Cedars-Sinai “is going through this objective assessment that requires them to demonstrate they can perform effective life supports, effective ventilations, and effective chest compressions.” They’ve already been through the online educational program, involving a multitude of simulated situations. Now it is much clearer who needs remediation or additional training. Even more significantly, the entire organization has a better understanding why resuscitation competency is important.

CPR Training That Protects Healthcare Providers

COVID-19 is affecting all aspects of life, even CPR training. As more and more Instructor-led classes and training centers are being canceled or indefinitely postponed, the training demands are increasing for frontline care givers as we manage the risk of unnecessary viral exposure. HealthStream has heard from multiple clients how the American Red Cross Resuscitation Suite™ is the perfect way to be safe and remove unnecessary risk for providers without compromising competency and quality. Our CPR training solution facilitates social distancing with self-paced, self-directed training, while meeting all regulatory requirements.