"It's time for data and information to replace anecdotes and impressions surrounding in-hospital resuscitations." – Beth Mancini

The American Heart Association provides guidelines on how to report and review in-hospital resuscitations, but how many hospitals have stepped up to the plate and developed the processes to do this? It's fair to say that the role of documentation at a code is not a desirable one, and that often the least experienced person is asked to document on a form with which s/he is not familiar. If you could change this picture so that cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) information is valued, then there might be a team of trained "data managers" at codes who stand at a designated position around the patient's bedside and use an electronic method with automatic cues to document the data elements needed.

The Joint Commission provides standards on how to use the CPR data to review the quality of care processes and outcomes at resuscitations. If your data is submitted to the National Registry of CPR, you will have aggregate data from your institution that can be benchmarked with like institutions. Both NRCPR and electronic resuscitation data management programs from defibrillator vendors provide automatic graphs of the aggregate CPR data to use when discussing variances of concern within your hospital.

When anything that is documented on the paper CPR record is considered acceptable at your institution and few horror stories are heard, it may seem like resuscitation care is "fine." But if you want to move from fact to fiction and challenge the status quo, then use accurate and complete CPR data to direct the actions of your CPR committee. Follow the words of Don Quixote: It is foolish to see the world as it is, instead of how it can be.