Introduction: Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) remains a highly morbid public health problem. Despite improving practices and clear guidelines, mortality from this condition remains high at 90%, with survivors often suffering from poor neurologic outcomes. To determine the feasibility of quality improvement collaboratives to narrow gaps between evidence-based practice and patient care for OHCA, we conducted a pilot study of the AHA Resuscitation Collaborative.
Methods: Eight emergency medical service agencies participated in the quality improvement collaborative pilot project. We identified several OHCA performance measures to assess the quality of care, guide collaborative activities, and monitor change in performance over time. Over the course of four learning sessions, participants were trained in quality improvement and performance measurement, analyzed performance measure results, and shared successes and challenges.
Results: Five remaining agencies underwent the process outlined in Figure 1. Adherence to performance measures, including compression rate compliance (Figure 2), improved over the course of the collaborative. Compression rate compliance in Figure 2 corresponds to the process improvement efforts of the Chesapeake Fire Department with achievement of goals for optimal range of chest compression rate between 100 and 120 compressions per minute during resuscitations.
Conclusion: As demonstrated in Virginia, the collaborative approach was an effective framework to improve OHCA care. Improvement in performance measures, the evident commitment of dedicated peers and colleagues, consistent collaboration, and the effective diffusion of best practices all support the continued use of this model.