New CPR training is first of its kind in Arkansas

Raven Richard of THV Channel 11 reports on Conway Regional's new CPR simulation training. A program of the American Heart Association, it is the first of its kind in Arkansas.

You can learn more from the THV Morning Show news segment below:

CONWAY, Ark. (KTHV) -- Employees at Conway Regional are the only ones in Arkansas to currently be trained on the American Heart Association's new CPR program.

Normally CPR certification is renewed every two years, but under this new system, training is done more often in order to keep those skills sharp.

It looks like your typical CPR learning session, except you are hooked up to a computer and can hear in real-time what you're doing wrong and see your results.

"The new system has allowed us to go ahead and practice very frequently and improve that, just like improving your golf swing. It's going to make you a better golfer the more you practice,” said Dr. Don Steely, a cardiologist at Conway Regional.

It's called the Resuscitation Quality Improvement program. Users practice it three to four times a year. Dr. Steely says every clinical employee will train on it.

"At every basketball game, every church service, at every Toad Suck Daze Festival, we're going to have employees there, the most trained employees in the state, to save lives."

Doctor Steely says that nationally, more than 200,000 adults go through cardiac arrest in hospitals, and survival rates are less than 25 percent. The hospital hopes the RQI program will improve that.

“Hands down the studies clearly show that high frequency, low volume practice is just superior,” Dr. Steely said.

Something else that is pretty unique about the program: Conway Regional is the first in the state to use the RQI program. Not only that, it's one of less than 200 hospitals in the country with it.

"It means that we're trailblazers, that we are being bold and that when it comes to technology and really advancing the best in patient care, we're going to look for collaborative partnerships that put us in the position to be best,” said Matt Troup, CEO of Conway Regional.

The American Heart Association's RQI program is only about two years old. It's been at Conway Regional for a few months. The simulation-based training allows less time spent away from working on the hospital floors.

"For Conway Regional Health System to add this and be the first in Arkansas, this is quite a move forward and we're hopefully that this will be a trend that we will see across the entire state,” said Rebecca Buerkle with the American Heart Association.

The American Heart Association says skills tend to decrease at around three to six months, but the frequency of this program will keep staff sharp.

(© 2017 KTHV)

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