Camden Clark Medical Center: A dual approach to saving more patients from cardiac arrest


Camden Clark Medical Center is one of 19 hospitals within the West Virginia University Health System – and an innovator when it comes to improving cardiac arrest outcomes.

Camden Clark employs a powerful strategy that sets it apart, leveraging two American Heart Association (the Association) quality programs – Get With The Guidelines®-Resuscitation (GWTG-R) and Resuscitation Quality Improvement® (RQI®) – in tandem to save more lives.

GWTG-R focuses on evidence-based performance measures for patient safety, medical emergency team response, effective and timely resuscitation, and post-resuscitation care. RQI delivers verified competence in resuscitation through quarterly cognitive and skills simulation sessions. Since 2017, Camden Clark has been using both programs to establish a foundation of quality, providing patients with the strongest chance of surviving a cardiac arrest.

The perfect fit

Since 2010, GWTG-R has ensured that Camden Clark’s providers have a clear understanding of the Association’s guidelines. With over 1.3 million patient records, the program facilitates critical data capture, analysis, and reporting that helps Camden Clark improve the quality of patient care and benchmark against hospitals of like size regionally and nationwide.

According to Marcella Will, RN, Camden Clark’s clinical education coordinator, adding RQI to the hospital’s educational mix was a natural fit for its quality improvement journey.

“We want every person, every employee who touches a patient to be able to deliver high-quality CPR, because we know it’s high-quality CPR and early defibrillation that saves lives.”

“We know that there can often be gaps in memory or training if you only have a class every two years and you don’t even perform CPR within those two years,” says Marcella. “Your ability to perform greatly decreases. We want every person, every employee who touches a patient to be able to deliver high-quality CPR confidently, because we know it’s high-quality CPR and early defibrillation that saves lives. Consistent, high-quality resuscitation was our goal throughout the hospital with RQI.”

RQI hospital Camden Clark Medical Center shares its Get With the Guidelines-Resuscitation Journey

A powerful, lifesaving pairing

Combining RQI with GWTG-R helps synthesize insights from cardiac arrest events and mastery of CPR learning. It allows hospitals like Camden Clark Medical Center to better position its teams to:

  • Refine resuscitation practices and data management to improve patient outcomes.
  • Provide leadership with an expanded assessment of CPR knowledge, skills, competence, performance analytics, data management, and quality improvement.
  • Prepare clinicians to confidently respond to cardiac arrest events.

Since beginning RQI in 2017, the first hospital in West Virginia to do so, Camden Clark has seen a 127% increase in program enrollment. The average score in employee performance of chest compressions and ventilations through RQI education continues to rise. Throughout 2020, the average score for chest compressions rose from 78.6% to 85.6%, while ventilation scores improved from 79.9% to 88.2%. Most importantly, Camden Clark has seen a positive increase in cardiac arrest event survival.

Marcella states, “We believe here at Camden Clark that Get With the Guidelines-Resuscitation and RQI fit together. They help us to provide our patients with the best care possible. GWTG-R follows the protocols for effective and timely resuscitation. And RQI gives us that verified competency, through quarterly learning, so that our employees who deal with these situations know high-quality CPR. We all know that is what saves lives.”

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