This blog is taken from a recent HealthStream webinar entitled “The Next Big Thing in Saving Lives: Reducing the Likelihood of Cardiac Arrest.” The webinar was moderated by HealthStream’s Senior Product Marketing Manager, Beth Pfeifer and featured Dr. Dan Davis and HealthStream’s Luther Cale, Vice President, Clinical Programs.
It is estimated that nearly one-third of all cardiac arrests are preventable. New evidence supports solutions that will improve clinical judgement and help clinicians prevent patients from going into cardiac arrest.
Dr. Davis is an internationally-recognized expert on preventable death and he began the webinar by clearly defining the term. Many in the healthcare industry will remember the Institute of Medicine’s report “To Err is Human.” The report is now two decades old and shed light on some of the more shocking statistics related to in-hospital deaths caused by medical errors. The estimate at the time was about 98,000 deaths. Since that report was published, new estimates that include patients who may have died as a result of missed opportunities to intervene early in addition to those that died of medical errors raise the number of preventable deaths to about 400,000.
Of course, the biggest impact is on patients and families, but Dr. Davis also pointed out that preventable deaths can result in lost reimbursement, violations, fines, litigation, and reduced employee morale for healthcare organizations.
Dr. Davis based this program on a foundational model and path of physiology. He also used his background in cognitive psychology to help focus on comprehension versus memorization as he developed the program. ART stands for:
The program addresses the four risk pathways of deterioration that can lead to cardiac arrest and mortality – the circulatory pathway, the dysrhythmic pathway, the neurologic pathway and the respiratory pathway.
Of course, the acronym, the science, and the background simply do not matter if this model does not work. It does work. The program results were beyond impressive. “When the program was implemented at UC San Diego, there was a very rapid improvement in cardiac arrest survival. At the same time, there was a dramatic decrease in the incidence of cardiac arrest particularly outside the ICU. Together, those two factors resulted in an absolute decrease in hospital mortality of 20-25%,” said Dr. Davis. Further, he went on to extrapolate the data to the rest of the U.S. If the results could be replicated across the U.S., it would result in 383,000 lives being saved each year – a number remarkably close to the 400,000 preventable deaths that are believed to occur in hospitals each year.
The good news is that the results are remarkably reproducible as Dr. Davis was able to demonstrate at other facilities and other settings with improvements shown in cardiac arrest survival rates in inpatient, outpatient, emergency departments, and ground and air emergency medical services.
Cale shared three ways in which HealthStream will help this program have even greater impact on healthcare and the patients it serves.
“Along with resuscitation education from the American Red Cross, HealthStream will offer the ART Essentials program that will precede these programs to help focus providers on anticipating, recognizing and targeting deterioration before it happens,” said Cale. ART Essentials helps learners with realistic patient video cases, high-quality illustrations and animations and other tools that prioritize real comprehension as opposed to memorization.
In addition, the ART program has resources designed to be quickly accessed and used at the bedside. Users will also have access to webinars by Dr. Dan Davis providing thought leadership and operational expertise on the program. And, of course, HealthStream will provide guidance from program launch through to adoption along with reporting that will provide insights on how to further operationalize the program.
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