July 26—The American Heart Association (Association), a voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and Laerdal Medical (Laerdal), a global medical equipment and medical training products manufacturer based in Stavanger, Norway, are furthering their decades-long alliance to deliver a new standard of resuscitation quality and patient care centered on CPR competence. Attendees representing 30 of the nation’s largest health care systems today joined the inaugural RQI® 2020 Keynote and Healthcare Networking Conference in Dallas to better understand how this paradigm shift can prevent tens of thousands of preventable cardiac arrest deaths annually in U.S. hospitals.
Each year, more than 200,000 adult cardiac arrests occur in U.S. hospitals and less than 26 percent of adult patients survive. High-quality CPR is the primary component that influences survival from cardiac arrest, but there is considerable variation in monitoring, implementation and quality improvement. As a result, CPR quality varies widely between health care systems and locations. The overall odds of surviving a cardiac arrest in the U.S. can vary by as much as 42 percent between randomly selected hospitals.1
For decades, Basic Life Support training has been the CPR training standard for health care providers, requiring participants to renew their course completion card every two years. Studies show CPR skills can decay within three to six months following this training.
To meet this challenge, in 2015, the Association and Laerdal co-developed RQI, or Resuscitation Quality Improvement®. RQI is a self-directed, simulation-based performance and quality improvement program for health care professionals that offers “low-dose, high-frequency” hands-on learning sessions that provide vital CPR skills practice in 10 minutes every 90 days. RQI 2020 offers a comprehensive, end-to-end quality improvement program that will deliver higher CPR quality at a lower cost to health care systems and professionals. RQI 2020 will make its market debut in January 2019.
“The American Heart Association believes that preventable death from sudden cardiac arrest in hospitals is a public health crisis,” said Nancy Brown, American Heart Association CEO. “Our goal is to create a world where no one dies from cardiac arrest, and today, we are putting a bold stake in the ground to transform the standard of care for treating victims of preventable cardiac arrest. The power of partnerships at the intersection of science and technology, in collaboration with health care systems across the country, is the solution to save more lives and ultimately get to zero.”
The Association and Laerdal made a commitment in February to save 50,000 additional lives from in-hospital cardiac arrest each year by 2025. This is based on RQI adoption in all U.S. hospitals. Currently, there are nearly 400 U.S. hospitals that have implemented the RQI program and more than 300,000 health care providers have improved CPR competency since the program’s introduction.
“Technology has advanced to focus on health care provider competency, which can lead to transforming the quality and standard of care,” said Tore Laerdal, chairman and CEO of Laerdal Medical. “The key to success is hospital adoption and implementation of this low-dose, high- frequency learning paradigm. Our vision, Getting to Zero, is to eliminate preventable and unexpected cardiac arrest deaths in health care. The time is now to disrupt the status quo by innovating for impact and we applaud those health care systems that have taken this significant step.”
During a luncheon program, the Association and Laerdal recognized a small group of hospitals and health care systems for pioneering the adoption of innovative practices as part of the early implementation of RQI. Honorees included:
Seton Healthcare, Austin, Texas
Texas Health Resources, Dallas, Texas
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio
University of Alabama-Birmingham Medical Center, Birmingham, Alabama
University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
Today’s event exemplifies the Association and Laerdal’s commitment as strategic partners to lead innovative change in health care. Furthering this resolve was the announcement of the formation of a new joint venture partnership, RQI Partners, LLC. The company positions both organizations to deliver innovative solutions that accelerate their lifesaving mission, blending the Association’s leadership in science with Laerdal’s expertise in technology and implementation to deliver impactful resuscitation quality improvement programs.
Conference attendees also pledged their shared commitment to propel the health care industry to get to zero cardiac arrest deaths by working together to eliminate preventable cardiac arrest deaths.