Abstract 263: Comparison of Megacode Assessment Following an Enhanced Heartcode ACLS Course versus a Standard Full ACLS Provider Course
Background: The AHA endorses 2 instructional methods for Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS): 1) traditional, live, classroom course with skills practice and training scenarios, or 2) web-based, self-paced program with interactive skills practice and testing using avatars (Heartcode ACLS). We compared Mega-code performance of students enrolled in live vs. enhanced online full provider courses.
Methods: Students enrolled in ACLS were invited to participate, self-selecting their preferred instructional method (online vs live). Four courses were divided into live and online groups. Students choosing the online course also participated in a one-hour megacode practice. Participants were blended for megacode skills testing given by instructors unaware of students’ learning method. Other assessments by instructors included skill level (1-low, 4-high) and group rank (best to worst).
Results: A total of 101 students agreed to participate and 77 (44 live, 33 online) were included (5 physicians, 43 nurses, 14 medical students, and 14 other allied health professionals). 10 had current cards, (7-live, 3-online), 27 had expired cards (17-live,10-online), and 40 had no prior card (20-live, 20-online). The remediation rate was not sig. different for live vs. online groups (4.55% vs 15.15%, p=0.22), and mean skill level was not sig. different for live vs. online (3.32 vs 3.06, p=0.25). Mean and median ranks were better for students in live vs the online study (2.74 vs 3.53, 2 vs 4, p=0.044). Likewise the % ranked in the top of their group was higher in the live (67%) vs. the online group (45%) (p=0.054). There was no sig. difference in the % with a prior class between the 2 arms.
Discussion: Although Heartcode ACLS was designed as an ACLS renewal course, some centers and students prefer an online method to complete the full ACLS course requirement. Due to concerns that an online course might not prepare students for the Megacode test or actual arrests, many centers opt not to use the Heartcode product. Our data indicate that with a single practice session, Megacode performance is comparable for those in a full provider course vs those completing Heartcode ACLS. The online course allows students to perform Megacode skills adequately after only 2-3 hours in a testing center, vs 1.5 days.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.