PARKERSBURG — Patients who suffer a cardiac arrest must receive the highest quality CPR possible, known to be the cornerstone for survival. More than 209,000 in-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the U.S., with survival rates of about 26% from adult in-hospital cardiac arrests.
For decades, the CPR training standard for healthcare providers has been Basic Life Support, requiring participants to renew their course completion card every two years. However, studies show CPR skills can decay within three to six months following this training.
West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s Nursing and Health Sciences Division recognizes the importance of high-quality CPR competence and performance to save more lives. Today, the university launched Resuscitation Quality Improvement® (RQI®), a program co-developed by the American Heart Association® and Laerdal Medical, to help elevate high-quality CPR skills — preparing future nursing professionals to respond to cardiac arrest events competently and confidently to help improve survival rates.
WVU Parkersburg is the first institution in the state — healthcare or higher education — to adopt the program. More than 150 nursing students are enrolled in Basic Life Support course instruction.
“We are excited to introduce the RQI program to our nurses of tomorrow to help them achieve, master, sustain and deliver high-quality CPR,” said Kathy Frum, WVU Parkersburg Nursing and Health Sciences dean.
“Embracing our nursing students’ participation in the program now places them on a path to continuous quality improvement learning and helps prepare them for a more seamless transition to clinical practice. We are furthering our culture of nursing education excellence and giving our students a head start at elevating their resuscitation skills and competence by leveraging this innovative program.”
Last September, the National League for Nursing (NLN), the premier professional organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education, announced a new partnership and collaboration with Laerdal Medical to help advance the transformation of the standard of resuscitation care for cardiac arrest.
Together with the American Heart Association and RQI Partners, the partnership between and service provider for Laerdal and the Association, the NLN is committed to supporting RQI program adoption by nursing programs at higher education institutions. Additionally, the organizations are co-developing a first-ever solution tailored to the more than 150,000 students who graduate annually from nursing and allied health education programs at U.S. colleges and universities.
“Preparing our students for success in their future healthcare careers means providing the most effective and progressive educational resources, instruction and technology,” said Dr. Stephanie Stout, WVU Parkersburg Nursing and Health Sciences simulation coordinator. “Collaborating with these nursing and resuscitation education leaders on RQI program adoption affords a new, dynamic, digital learning experience tailored to students, faculty and administrators’ unique needs. We look forward to advancing how our faculty members teach and our future nursing professionals learn, excel and ultimately, help save lives.”
RQI is self-directed, simulation-based mastery learning and performance provided through cognitive and hands-on CPR quality improvement sessions that measure and verify competence. The program employs a “low-dose, high-frequency” model requiring healthcare providers to complete course assignments in short sessions every quarter on a simulation station.
In 2018, the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to a world of longer, healthier lives for all, and Laerdal, one of the world leaders in medical simulation and resuscitation training, called for a new standard of care by shifting resuscitation practice from training once every two years to verified CPR competence for healthcare professionals.
“Our organizations have a shared commitment to excellence in nursing education,” said Dr. Beverly Malone, National League for Nursing president and CEO.
“We look forward to collaborating with the West Virginia University at Parkersburg Nursing and Health Sciences Division to empower its nursing students to help advance the health of the nation and the global community, thereby achieving excellence in nursing education and competency-based resuscitation. Encouraging RQI adoption in higher education presents a groundbreaking and game-changing opportunity to maximize the lifesaving potential of nurses, other healthcare professionals and the people we serve. We are ushering in a new era in healthcare education and resuscitation preparedness and thrilled the university has joined us on this journey.”
Since the RQI program’s introduction in 2015, more than 2,400 hospitals and two million nurses have adopted and enrolled in the program. More significantly, it is estimated that 20,000 lives have been saved.
To learn more about the RQI program, visit heart.org, laerdal.com and rqipartners.com.