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Have you ever participated in a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification class? If so, you may recall a long afternoon spent learning how to provide life-saving chest compressions to a lifeless manikin. But, could you remember how many compressions to apply between rescue breaths in a real-life emergency situation?

A recent study conducted by the American Heart Association concluded that poor quality CPR leads to poor and preventable patient outcomes. Additionally, numerous research findings have confirmed that psychomotor skills, such as CPR, decay rapidly after initial training.



Kenietha Presnell demonstrates how ARHS staff will train with the American Heart Association’s Resuscitation Quality Improvement® Program.

For this reason, in January 2017, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) will become the first healthcare system in North Carolina to implement the American Heart Association’s Resuscitation Quality Improvement® Program (AHA RQI® Program).

The AHA RQI® Program was developed to provide users with perpetually valid CPR certification through 10-minute, quarterly cognitive and skill training. Unlike the traditional training program which focused on bi-annual completion, the AHA RQI® Program focuses on continuous competency in CPR skills. According to the American Heart Association, this radical process change will result in increased skill retention and improved resuscitation outcomes.

Beginning in January, all ARHS clinical staff will transition from the existing CPR training program to the AHA RQI® Program. RQI will include annual online education with simulation as well as quarterly hands-on skills demonstration. These skills demonstrations will provide an opportunity for staff to practice life-saving compressions and ventilations with personalized feedback on an interactive manikin known as Annie.

For more information about the AHA RQI® Program, visit The American Heart Association’s CPR and First Aid website.

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