Health Services Research & Development

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Nallamothu BK, Guetterman TC, Harrod M, Kellenberg JE, Lehrich JL, Kronick SL, Krein SL, Iwashyna TJ, Saint S, Chan PS. How Do Resuscitation Teams at Top-Performing Hospitals for In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Succeed? A Qualitative Study. Circulation. 2018 Jul 10; 138(2):154-163.
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Abstract: BACKGROUND: In-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) is common, and outcomes vary substantially across US hospitals, but reasons for these differences are largely unknown. We set out to better understand how top-performing hospitals organize their resuscitation teams to achieve high survival rates for IHCA. METHODS: We calculated risk-standardized IHCA survival to discharge rates across American Heart Association Get With The Guidelines-Resuscitation registry hospitals between 2012 and 2014. We identified geographically and academically diverse hospitals in the top, middle, and bottom quartiles of survival for IHCA and performed a qualitative study that included site visits with in-depth interviews of clinical and administrative staff at 9 hospitals. With the use of thematic analysis, data were analyzed to identify salient themes of perceived performance by informants. RESULTS: Across 9 hospitals, we interviewed 158 individuals from multiple disciplines including physicians (17.1%), nurses (45.6%), other clinical staff (17.1%), and administration (20.3%). We identified 4 broad themes related to resuscitation teams: (1) team design, (2) team composition and roles, (3) communication and leadership during IHCA, and (4) training and education. Resuscitation teams at top-performing hospitals demonstrated the following features: dedicated or designated resuscitation teams; participation of diverse disciplines as team members during IHCA; clear roles and responsibilities of team members; better communication and leadership during IHCA; and in-depth mock codes. CONCLUSIONS: Resuscitation teams at hospitals with high IHCA survival differ from non-top-performing hospitals. Our findings suggest core elements of successful resuscitation teams that are associated with better outcomes and form the basis for future work to improve IHCA.