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Challenges for Resuscitation across the Care Continuum

Unlike hospitals, other areas of the healthcare continuum are not as readily prepared to achieve resuscitation success. Through no fault of their own, the patient mix and rare need for resuscitation skills makes maintaining resuscitation competency even more difficult.

In an interview that was the basis for the HealthStream article, Improving Resuscitation throughout the Care Continuum: Lessons and Suggestions about CPR Training, Resuscitation Expert Haynes made the case for redoubling the efforts across the healthcare continuum to improve resuscitation readiness and competency. This blog post is the second in a series excerpting the article.

Challenges for Resuscitation Success across the Care Continuum

It is important to understand that the continuum of care encompasses a vast array of settings, including home health, hospice, ambulatory surgery centers, dialysis centers, behavioral health facilities, long-term care, assisted living facilities, community clinics, and more. Care varies widely across the continuum from a traditional hospital environment, and these settings face unique challenges when it comes to training for resuscitation, including:

  • Varying states of acuity among patients and residents: Haynes points first to the most obvious challenge for resuscitation across the continuum—the acuity of patients, which can vary widely by setting. Although codes are more common in acute-care settings, patient acuity levels are climbing and becoming more complex across all care settings, creating an increased need to improve resuscitation training.
  • A wide range of lengths of stay: Patients may stay one day to one week for an outpatient procedure or up to several months at a long-term/residential care facility.
  • Inconsistent knowledge at provider of patient medical history: Due to the varying lengths of stay, the staff may not have full knowledge of the patient’s medical history. For example, less is typically known about the patient in an ambulatory surgery center prior to a procedure than would be known in an acute-care setting.
  • Infrequent Codes: The good news is that Codes occur less frequently in settings outside the hospital and EMS. But that’s also the bad news! CPR skills that are refreshed just once every two years are unlikely to result in high-quality, life-saving CPR. In 2015, the resuscitation guidance to healthcare providers on CPR training was updated. As Alex Harris, HealthStream Solution Executive for Resuscitation, puts it, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” Studies show that CPR skills begin to decay in as little as three months. However, healthcare leaders know the skill and experience of their workforce best and should have the ability to adjust practice frequency based on audience or student group, whether that’s three, six, 12 or 24 months. Harris adds, “Just like their acute-care counterparts, providers across the continuum of care need to receive the highest quality CPR training available and should receive it in a way that is easily accessible and readily available at all times.”

The article also includes:

  • Strengthening CPR Training
  • Where Do CPR Guidelines Come From? ILCOR
  • Elements of a Successful Resuscitation Program—the Must-Haves
  • Results of a Successful Resuscitation Training Program
  • Importance of High Quality Resuscitation in Hospice Environment
  • Learning from Successful Resuscitation Programs
  • Future Predictions for CPR

Download the full article here.

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