When leaders at Indiana University Health became aware of evidence showing that skills needed to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, fade quickly, they decided to make a change.
Research indicates that skills in basic and advanced cardiovascular life support begin to deteriorate within three to six months after training. Furthermore, the survival rate for patients who experience cardiac arrest in the hospital setting, which occurs more than 200,000 times each year, is around 20%.
Under a decades-old policy, IU Health would require all 20,000 of their frontline caregivers to receive CPR training once every two years in a classroom environment. The training lasts up to four hours.
“We realized pretty easily that there aren’t too many procedures that we only require (clinicians) to perform once every two years as proof of competency,” said Dr. Jonathan Gottlieb, the health system’s chief medical officer. “Even without the data this just totally doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
IU Health decided in 2017 to pilot a program that trains frontline caregivers on CPR training every quarter for a short time period and in the clinical setting.
The training, called Resuscitation Quality Improvement Program, is from the American Heart Association. The program launched in 2015 and about 750 U.S. hospitals participate, according to an association spokeswoman.