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WSU College of Medicine implements resuscitation quality improvement program to prepare future physicians for in-hospital cardiac arrest events

Marks the first medical school in the nation to adopt innovative program that verifies CPR competence and improves performance and delivery

SPOKANE, Washington, September 24, 2019—More than 200,000 in-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States with survival rates from adult in-hospital cardiac arrest at less than 26 percent. Patients who suffer a cardiac arrest must receive the highest quality CPR possible, which is known to be the cornerstone for survival. 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.

Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, which has taken a bold and innovative approach to medical education since its creation in 2015, recognizes the importance of high-quality CPR competence, performance and delivery in saving more lives. That’s why the college has added yet another forward-thinking tactic to preparing future physicians with its adoption of RQI 2020, (Resuscitation Quality Improvement®). The program, co-developed by the American Heart Association (Association) and Laerdal Medical and launched in January, will help the college’s students prepare for in-hospital cardiac arrest events. RQI 2020 is designed to assist clinical staff achieve sustained mastery of high-quality CPR skills and competence, resulting in improved patient outcomes.

The WSU College of Medicine is the first medical school in the country to implement RQI 2020 and first to include a novel resuscitation learning model in medical education curriculum. The college rolled out the RQI 2020 program for third year and future four-year medical students, with one RQI station located on the Spokane campus and a portable station in rotation at three other campuses across the state.

“Being the first in the nation to provide the RQI 2020 program to our students further exemplifies how we are thinking years ahead to train and prepare our physicians to be healthcare leaders of the future,” said Dr. John Tomkowiak, founding dean at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. “We are bringing innovative opportunities to students today to be on the leading edge of medical education, and ultimately healthcare, to improve the quality of patient care and help save more lives.”

Last July, the Association, the leading voluntary health organization devoted to a world of longer, healthier lives, and Laerdal Medical called for a new standard of care by shifting resuscitation practice from course training once every two years to verified competence for healthcare professionals. RQI 2020 provides a high-reliability platform for self-directed, simulation-based mastery learning and performance, which is implemented through “low-dose, high-frequency” hands-on CPR quality improvement sessions, in 10 minutes every 90 days. The program prepares clinicians to deliver high-quality CPR and verifies competence in Basic Life Support, Advanced Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support through simulated skills sessions and eLearning simulations. The program also provides analytics that measure compliance.

“We are excited the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine is implementing the RQI 2020 program and taking an early step to introduce its students to a new standard of resuscitation care—verified competence,” said Ted Duncan, American Heart Association executive director in eastern Washington. “The college’s adoption of RQI 2020 illustrates its commitment to creating a learning environment that is tech-forward and groundbreaking and making high-quality CPR competence a priority for its students.”

The college, which was created to fill critical healthcare gaps across the state of Washington, recruits and trains students to serve in rural and urban, underserved communities where they are needed most.

“Similar to the American Heart Association, we remain steadfast in serving communities and people who have little or no access to medical care,” said Dr. Chris Martin, director of simulation based training and clinical assistant professor at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. “We want to ensure our students are equipped with the skills, knowledge and competence to perform at the highest level during cardiac arrest occurrences; RQI 2020 is a perfect solution to help prepare them for better patient outcomes.”

To learn more about the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine or the RQI 2020 program and the value it brings to healthcare, patient care and communities at-large, visit or



About RQI Partners, LLC

RQI Partners LLC is a partnership between the American Heart Association and Laerdal Medical, positioning the organizations to deliver innovative solutions that accelerate the impact of their lifesaving mission. The company blends the Association’s leadership in science with Laerdal’s expertise in technology and implementation to deliver impactful and innovative resuscitation quality improvement programs. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

About Laerdal Medical

Laerdal Medical, one of the world’s leading providers of healthcare solutions, is dedicated to helping save lives with products and services for Simulation, Airway Management, Immobilization, Basic Life Support, Advanced Life Support, Patient Care, Self-Directed Learning and Medical Education. Laerdal is pleased to serve all healthcare providers and educators, from the lay rescuer to medical professionals. Laerdal operates sales and support offices in 23 countries worldwide, and with the head office located in Stavanger, Norway. For more information, visit or call 1-877-523-7325.

About Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

The Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine is Washington’s community-based medical school. Named after Washington State University’s late president, Dr. Elson S. Floyd, the college was created to expand medical education and healthcare access in communities across the state. Accredited in October 2016, the college welcomed its inaugural class in August 2017. For more information, visit

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