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HealthStream Helps Health System Improve Resuscitation Training

In today’s value-based healthcare environment, there is less room in budgets for taking staff off the floor to take part in requisite resuscitation training and recertification. This fiscal reality coupled with the quality of the HeartCodeTM program, delivered by HealthStream, resonated with the leadership at Bon Secours Health System, making for a relatively easy decision to proceed with a system-wide implementation.

One clear example of recognizing the need to maintain a customer-first mindset was the plan put in place to reach out to staff at doctors’ offices. Implementing the program in physician practices required a distinctly different approach to the deployment of the HeartCode curriculum. The business reality is that physician offices are reluctant to close the practice for part of a day to enable staff to complete education requirements.

The Solution Involved a Measured Implementation

The decision was made to implement the learning initiative incrementally, rather than to attempt a system-wide implementation from day one. This step-wise approach was to introduce HeartCode in eight Virginia hospitals, plus emergency rooms and physician offices in the initial rollout. This decision was key to the eventual success of the effort.

Bon Secours first developed a specific approach to be delivered to new hires. For introducing HeartCode to new employees, a blended approach was deployed for Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS). Those employees that were new to ACLS and PALS needed slightly more hands-on coaching. With that in mind, Bon Secours conducted a 2-day class for ACLS and PALS where HeartCode modules are interspersed with other topics. It’s a form of stealth education in that HeartCode is treated as a complement to other learning that is presented.

For all staff, the use of HeartCode training began with Hands-On Sessions skill checks at assigned times. These sessions were delivered via 30-minute appointments during the initial year of training. As the program at Bon Secours evolved, important change management strategy and tactics came to the forefront. When any programmatic change was needed, there first needed to be a compelling reason for that change, and all involved—from educators to students – were kept apprised of planned changes and why those changes were necessary

After an Adjustment Period, the Results at Bon Secours Were Impressive

The results of transitioning to HeartCode were encouraging from the beginning. Not surprisingly, perhaps, educating staff learners using this new method did require an adjustment period. That was anticipated. With educators, however, the benefits of using HeartCode became readily apparent. Educators soon saw the advantages, most notably that HeartCode was an efficient and consistent way of providing adult learners with the repetition required to learn and retain new skills. Providing the requisite amount of repetition by continually scheduling time off the floor was no longer cost-effective, and this innovative delivery of content was a timely solution. Though they adjusted relatively quickly, perhaps the biggest hurdle to clear on the part of educators was adjusting to teaching in a new way after they themselves had been taught in the more traditional classroom setting. The natural inclination was to follow that same path and perpetuate “the old way” of learning. Staff acceptance and comfort levels have since increased to the point that 4-hour blocks of HeartCode skills training and certification are made available. Students can walk in without an appointment and complete their Hands-On Sessions. After 4 years, people have gone through the program twice and are comfortable with it. Not only have hospitals and clinics bought-in to the new way of learning, so had the staff.

Ultimately, the wins for Bon Secours from this transition are impressive:

  • Efficient record-keeping and tracking for audits
  • More accurate assessments of individual competency
  • Greater staff confidence in emergencies
  • Consistent skill training across the organization

Read the full customer spotlight here.

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