American Heart Association’s Resuscitation Quality Improvement (RQI™) Program helps hospitals provide better CPR to save more lives

(DALLAS, Dec, 2014) — 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. The 2013 AHA Consensus Statement, “Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Quality: Improving Cardiac Resuscitation Outcomes Both Inside and Outside the Hospital” states that poor-quality CPR leads to poor patient outcomes creating a “preventable harm” to the patient.

More than 600,000 cardiac arrests occur annually and less than 15 percent of victims survive. Also troubling is the survival rate from adult in-hospital cardiac arrest of only 23 percent. In order to support hospitals and healthcare providers in their efforts to save more lives, the American Heart Association developed the AHA Resuscitation Quality Improvement Program (AHA RQI Program) which helps healthcare providers maintain skill competency and achieve better patient outcomes through regular, low-dose/high-frequency high-quality CPR training.

“The American Heart Association continually evaluates new ways to translate the latest scientific research into clinical practice so that healthcare providers can more effectively help patients in emergency cardiovascular situations,” said Robert W. Neumar, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of the University of Michigan Medical School’s Department of Emergency Medicine. “We 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,” said Neumar, who also serves as Chair of the American Heart Association’s Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee.

RQI is the next evolution of dynamic CPR training bringing the latest learning technology and simulation stations directly to the provider. The subscription-based training program provides the same cognitive and skills modules as a traditional CPR training program, but delivers it quarterly rather than every two years to ensure resuscitation skills remain at the highest standard.

“We chose RQI because we believe the conversion to maintenance of competency will drive quality resuscitation and deliver better patient outcomes. Using RQI, our staff can achieve higher CPR proficiency in less time, for less cost, and with better skill retention,” said Michael Kurz, M.D. M.S., associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine and member of the AHA’s Emergency Cardiovascular Care committee Systems of Care subcommittee. “The beauty of RQI is it teaches essential psychomotor skills and makes providers acutely aware of the reality of providing high-quality CPR while the patient is pulseless,” said Kurz.

Early adopters, including Texas Health Resources, UT Southwestern Dallas and University of Alabama at Birmingham, report initial RQI successes:

  • Positive employee feedback in reaching and maintaining competency of CPR skills. Staff reported feeling more confident in delivering CPR to adults and infants after RQI.
  • Cost-savings of implementing RQI versus using traditional advanced life support training for staff.

RQI is intended to improve Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) skills, while also making training more convenient for healthcare providers. Students 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. Stations can come to the students directly, meaning healthcare providers reduce time away from their patients because they aren’t taking time off from work to learn the training and be tested in a classroom course. At each RQI Station, a tablet connects the student to training material and provides helpful visual and audio feedback for compressions and ventilations, monitors the quality of performance and provides reinforcement or suggestions 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 AHA RQI Program uses learning technology powered by Laerdal.

About the American Heart Association 
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from cardiovascular disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of our offices around the country, or visit

Media Contact:
Katie Brooks

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