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Jefferson, NC 28640

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Two nurses practice bagging a mannequin using a Resuscitation Quality Improvement program.
Two nurses practice bagging a mannequin using a Resuscitation Quality Improvement program.

Ashe Memorial Hospital invests in new Resuscitation Quality Improvement program

JEFFERSON, N.C. — Ashe Memorial Hospital recently began implementing Resuscitation Quality Improvement (RQI), an American Heart Association and Laerdal program designed to support mastery of high-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills.

More than 250 Ashe Memorial Hospital employees need at least one essential lifesaving skill certification for their job position, such as advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS), basic life support (BLS), and CPR. RQI is a groundbreaking new approach to maintaining competence in CPR and acquiring other essential certifications.

In addition to increasing competency levels of lifesaving skillsets of our providers, RQI also helps improve compliance of certification requirements.

"High-quality CPR is the foundational component for surviving a cardiac arrest, and is what all other resuscitative efforts are built upon,” said Angel Gouge, education manager for Ashe Memorial Hospital. “Becoming proficient with those skills requires regular practice and critique. That's where the RQI Program comes in.”

The RQI system is comprised of a rolling cart with the torso of a CPR mannequin on it, accompanied by a computer that programs the mannequin, thus creating a mobile Simulation Station. The software built in to the system has various modules available for education, and it monitors the user’s actions and provides feedback to help the user improve. Ashe Memorial Hospital was able to purchase the RQI system through a Rural Hospital Leadership and Workforce Development Grant.

RQI uses adaptive learning technology to allow learners to acquire and demonstrate Basic Life Support skills using a personalized learning path that adapts in real time to a learner’s performance, eliminating the need to attend in-person CPR training courses.

Studies show that psychomotor skills such as CPR can decay rapidly without frequent practice, with skill level declining in as little as three to six months. Through more consistent exposure to CPR simulation scenarios, Ashe Memorial Hospital is committed to improving patient outcomes and decreasing preventable deaths from cardiac arrests.

“By requiring quarterly trainings, versus the previous two-year certification model, we are helping prevent skill and knowledge decay,” Gouge said. “The old adage of "practice makes perfect" really rings true here. The more often you practice, the more masterful your skills can become. The RQI Program allows us to continually fine-tune our core skills to increase our patients' chance of survival in the event of a cardiac arrest.”

About Ashe Memorial Hospital
For more than 80 years, Ashe Memorial Hospital’s dedicated team of board certified physicians, nurses and staff members have provided the highest quality medical care available to the people of Ashe County and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. Ashe Memorial Hospital offers a wide variety of emergency, elective, rehabilitation and preventative health services.

Founded in 1941, Ashe Memorial Hospital is a fully accredited 25 bed critical hospital located in Jefferson, N.C. For more information, please visit or call 336-846-7101.