TFHS Implements American Heart Associations Resuscitation Quality Improvement Program

Woman practicing CPR on RQI manikin

New Dynamic Training Solution Maximizes Providers’ Time and Skills to Improve Patient Care

More than 200,000 in-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually and the survival rate from adult in-hospital cardiac arrest is only 25 percent. CPR may seem to be a basic skill for healthcare providers but research has shown that psychomotor skills related to resuscitation can decay within just three to six months—far before the two-year standard when basic and advanced life support skills are currently evaluated.

Tahoe Forest Health System knows the importance of high-quality CPR in saving more lives. That’s why the Health System implemented the American Heart Association’s Resuscitation Quality Improvement Program (AHA RQI Program) to help staff maintain skill competency and achieve better patient outcomes through regular, low-dose/high-frequency high-quality CPR training.

“The American Heart Association created RQI to teach healthcare providers high-quality CPR in a more effective, concise and convenient way that drives them to practice and retain these skills with confidence. We are excited to be the first in the region to adopt this innovative approach that improves skills and increases confidence,” said Alex MacLennan, Director of Human Resources, TFHS.

Basic CPR skills rapidly decay within 3-6 months of learning or recertifying. There is also a great deal of evidence demonstrating that frequent practice of basic CPR skills leads to better quality CPR, better patient outcomes, and more confidence for the CPR provider. “By practicing just a little bit, more often, some health systems have doubled, or even tripled, their in-house cardiac arrest survival rates,” says MacLennan.

RQI is intended to improve Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) skills, while making training more convenient for healthcare providers. Employees can take the cognitive components of testing online and then test their psychomotor skills with real-time feedback by performing CPR at mobile Simulation Stations equipped with adult and infant manikins.

These stations are placed within the hospital departments, allowing for easy access to learning throughout the year. At each RQI station, a computer evaluates the quality of the employee’s compressions and ventilations and provides instant feedback for improvement. 

The 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR and ECC and the 2013 CPR Quality Consensus Statement state that high-quality CPR should be recognized as the foundation for all other resuscitative efforts because it increases patient survival. The AHA RQI program helps provide better CPR. Learn more about the problem of rapid skills decay and the solution that RQI offers at www.heart.org/RQI.