Karen is a Cardiology and Resuscitation Audit Nurse at Darent Valley Hospital, part of Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust. She has been involved with NCAA for nearly 2 years, and the hospital itself has been a participant for over 8 years.
We asked Karen a few questions about her experience of participating in NCAA.
What do you find are the benefits of participating in NCAA for you and your hospital?
We use the data collected for NCAA, as well as the quarterly NCAA Reports, to monitor our cardiac arrests; we look at the ‘where, when and why’s and make changes to our practice accordingly.
We also look to see if a MET (Medical Emergency Team) has call had been made prior to the cardiac arrest to identify any that may have been preventable, although most are sudden. We also consider whether intervention should have been made prior to the arrest, or if it was inevitable.
Image © Darent Valley Hospital.
Who do you share your NCAA Reports with and how?
Myself and the Resuscitation Officer review each quarterly report to ascertain if there are any issues or areas that require improvement; a root cause analysis is undertaken when required.
The Resuscitation Officer also gives feedback from the Reports and discusses any issues with the Resuscitation Committee every 3 months. The Quarter 4/Annual Report is sent to the Chief Executive and the information is also incorporated in the hospital’s audit report to the trust.
Have you had any data collection or validation challenges?
Data collection can sometimes be difficult when the event form isn’t completed at the time of the arrest and we have to look for the data retrospectively. Having said that, our monitoring equipment provides detailed information that can be utilised in addition to the patient’s notes.
We check what 2222 calls have been made with the switchboard twice weekly, so that we can ensure that all of our cardiac arrests are captured and reported.
We also check the NCAA Portal at least once a week to see if there is anything that needs to be validated or updated, for example where a team visit record is in pending outcome we would review whether the patient is still in the hospital and update the record accordingly.
Do you have any tips for other NCAA participants?
Stay on top of it! The best alert system is the switchboard; build a strong working relationship with them. By liaising with the switchboard, you’ll know if a 2222 call has been made, and be able to follow up on this promptly. The quicker you can collect your data, the easier it is to manage.
It’s also important to have a good working relationship with all members of the cardiac arrest team; our team are very helpful and send us details on most of the out of hours cardiac arrests via email.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Karen and Darent Valley Hospital for agreeing to be interviewed and for their ongoing participation.
If you're a participating NCAA hospital and would be interested in being interviewed, please contact the NCAA Team.