The Importance of Aligning Your Resuscitation Policies with Accrediting Bodies

February 22, 2024
February 22, 2024

This blog is based on insights from industry experts who recently gathered to address an important and timely industry trend. The trend being that healthcare organizations are moving away from vendor-specific resuscitation education policies in favor of those that are science-based. There are many reasons that they may choose to do so, and we will highlight three that stood out to our subject matter experts - Luther Cale, HealthStream’s Vice-President of Clinical Programs; Dr. Nici Singletary, Co-Chair of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council; and Dr. Art Kellerman, Emergency Physician, Former Medical School Dean and Academic Health System CEO.

  • Transitioning saves organizations time and money by eliminating unnecessary recertifications.
  • Policies can easily be aligned with accrediting bodies with vendor-agnostic policies and recommendations.
  • Vendor agnostic requirements make employers more attractive by accepting millions of healthcare professionals with existing credentials.


Why Should You Align Your Resuscitation Policies with Accrediting Bodies?

As less-than-ethical means of obtaining CPR certifications became more common, the industry had to respond and they did so by identifying a primary training provider. However, within the last six years, healthcare organizations have begun the process of shifting towards science-based policies and away from vendor-specific policies as providers align themselves with international, science-based guidelines.


The Role of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation  

The International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) is a worldwide group of resuscitation organizations. Dr. Singletary defined the role of ILCOR in the development of global standards for CPR. They promote, disseminate, and advocate for the international implementation of evidence-informed resuscitation and first aid. They engage in a transparent evaluation and consensus summary of scientific data with the goal of saving more lives globally.

Dr. Singletary co-chairs the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Committee (ARCSAC). ARCSAC is an independent advisory council created to address questions on relevant topics through the structured, scientific evaluation of available research which leads to the creation of guidelines. ARCSAC works with ILCOR and other respected organizations to evaluate conclusions and recommendations.

In addition, the American Red Cross has developed a “bridge” course that AHA instructors can take in order to be certified as American Red Cross instructors. The program is short, respectful of the fact that instructors have previously been credentialed by another provider, and focuses on Red Cross terminology, systems, and the methods for logging.   


Seamlessly Updating Your Resuscitation Policies to Align with the Joint Commission and Other Accrediting Bodies

Dr. Kellerman addressed the importance of saving the organization time and money by not paying for recertification of your workforce when they have already demonstrated competency. When another vendor introduced content delivery changes that would result in a substantial price increase for his organization, Dr. Kellerman and his team began researching other options. In the American Red Cross, he found a blended learning approach that was consistent and efficient, as it allowed staff to test out of material that had already been mastered. This resulted in a substantial time savings and a subsequent cost savings as well. 

Dr. Kellerman also found that this approach is more respectful of employees and can make healthcare organizations more attractive to prospective employees. “It sets the tone for new employees that you respect what they know and makes the onboarding process more welcoming as it can focus more on organizational policies and procedures because there is already respect for their clinical knowledge,” said Dr. Kellerman.

Brandie Gray, an HR Supervisor at Kettering Health shared her organizations experience with updating their resuscitation policies. When Gray began her work with Kettering Health 8 years ago, she was tasked with trying to bring order to the system’s Basic Life Support (BLS) program. Gray shared that the lack of a system-wide policy made it difficult to hold people accountable and it became evident that they would need a system-wide policy. They developed a clear policy regarding who was required to have the certification as well as the organizations from which that training could come. The policy was then vetted and approved and is reviewed approximately every three years.


Staying Current with Resuscitation Policies and Industry Standards – The Resources

HealthStream can help your organization with resources to meet resuscitation training standards and maintain compliance requirements. Cale shared a letter from the American Red Cross that can serve as an overview of the emergence of the organization as the standard of excellence for resuscitation training and excellence. The letter cites recognition from organizations such as Joint Commission, Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and other credentialing and accrediting bodies.

In addition, he recommended The Joint Commission’s R3 Report and its comprehensive explanation of the new requirements and their rationale. It also includes sample policies that can serve as a quick-start for organizations wishing to implement new resuscitation policies.