Change is difficult for any organization, but especially for healthcare systems. For any organization trying to improve, change management experts advise focusing on three key areas: People, Process, and Technology.
USA Health System in Mobile, Alabama, provides a real-world example of this change management philosophy in action.
As the Gulf Coast region’s only academic medical center, USA Health is affiliated with the University of South Alabama (USA). The 240-bed USA Health University Hospital chose to implement Redivus resuscitation software as part of a larger hospital initiative to improve how the hospital runs codes for patients in cardiac arrest.
Step by Step Changes
Like many hospitals, going through the global pandemic in 2020 and 2021 took a major toll on USA Health staff.
“As we were coming out of COVID, we took a breath, looked around, and identified some opportunities to improve. We knew there was an issue with codes,” said Kristen Noles, DNP, CNL, LSSGB, USA Health System performance improvement manager. “Our leadership advised that we take things one step at a time, so that’s what we did.”
First, the USA Health performance improvement team identified a dedicated team of people who would respond to codes. Then, they set up a new process for how to communicate with that team.
“With those first two changes, we decreased the response time of getting the right people to the code from 10 minutes to less than two minutes,” Noles said.
With a dedicated team of people in place and a new process to follow, USA Health moved onto vetting and introducing a new technology: Redivus Health resuscitation software.
“Redivus is a just-in-time virtual coach with data collection,” Noles said. “It has a patient-centered design that puts best practices and prompts for decision making in the hands of the team to provide optimal care for the patient during a code.”
Since fall 2022, USA Health has been using Redivus to support its code blue team as they respond to patients in cardiac arrest. As a teaching hospital, USA Health also uses Redivus as a coaching tool for staff members to practice ACLS guidelines.
“This technology (Redivus) has created an environment that is more reliable and more safe,” said Sarah Eidt, RN, USA Health Quality Improvement Coordinator. “It forced parties to come together to figure out a process to create safe and reliable workflows in a chaotic situation.”
Building Code Team Confidence
Throughout the first year of using Redivus, the software helped to point out areas where the code team needed to improve their adherence to ACLS guidelines. The team recognized that using the Redivus code blue app helped them perform better.
As an example, Noles explained that previously if family was present when a code was called, they would move families out because it was so chaotic, but recently something unexpected happened.
“The team had confidence in what they were doing because the tool was guiding them, and the attending physician actually comforted a brother that was in the room during a code,” Noles described. “We’ve come so far in such a short amount of time. It was really the technology that was providing the repetition of best practice in a stressful situation over and over into a dedicated group of people that allowed for that to happen.”
A Checklist for Cardiac Arrest
Often the aviation industry is held up as an example of how organizations can benefit from becoming more standardized and following best practices.
Noles and Eidt believe that the Redivus resuscitation app provides a way to bring the aviation industry’s “checklist approach” to one of healthcare’s most time-critical, high-stakes events.
“The software (Redivus) is consistent. The technology is coaching you through the process, and the only variation is how the patient presents and what rhythm occurred,” Noles said. “That to me is what is really awesome about it.”
“Redivus is a best practice checklist that can be repeated over and over and over again,” Eidt agreed. “And it was developed by healthcare professionals, by people that actually do this and have a passion for it. I think that’s what makes it more next level.”
Adding PALS Software
With the improvements made over the first year of using the Redivus app, USA Health plans to roll out Redivus resuscitation software in their Children’s and Women’s Hospital in 2024 and will add on the Redivus PALS application that supports pediatric cardiac arrest.
“This technology is allowing us to have meaningful documentation, alongside the virtual coach, to ensure best practice in both the pediatric patient population and the adult patient population,” Noles explained.
“Usually when you’re adopting technology it feels like a ‘push’ and you’re working to get everyone on board,” Noles said. “This software (Redivus) has allowed for that trust and confidence at a level that we’ve never had before. It’s a ‘pull’ that’s hard to keep up with at this point, not even a year after adoption.”