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leadership, quality improvement, resuscitation



  1. Schneiderhahn, Mary Elizabeth MSN, RN, ACNS-BC
  2. Fish, Anne Folta PhD, RN, FAHA


Purpose/Objectives: The purpose of this article was to describe the history and leadership dimensions of the role of resuscitation process manager and provide specific examples of how this role is implemented at a Midwest medical center.


Background: In 1992, a medical center in the Midwest needed a nurse to manage resuscitation care.


Rationale: This role designation meant that this nurse became central to all quality improvement efforts in resuscitation care. The role expanded as clinical resuscitation guidelines were updated and as the medical center grew. The role became known as the critical care clinical nurse specialist as resuscitation process manager. This clinical care nurse specialist was called a manager, but she had no direct line authority, so she accomplished her objectives by forming a multitude of collaborative networks.


Description: Based on a framework by Finkelman, the manager role incorporated specific leadership abilities in quality improvement: (1) coordination of medical center-wide resuscitation, (2) use of interprofessional teams, (3) integration of evidence into practice, and (4) staff coaching to develop leadership.


Outcome: The manager coordinates resuscitation care with the goals of prevention of arrests if possible, efficient and effective implementation of resuscitation protocols, high quality of patient and family support during and after the resuscitation event, and creation or revision of resuscitation policies for in-hospital and for ambulatory care areas. The manager designs a comprehensive set of meaningful and measurable process and outcome indicators with input from interprofessional teams. The manager engages staff in learning, reflecting on care given, and using the evidence base for resuscitation care. Finally, the manager role is a balance between leading quality improvement efforts and coaching staff to implement and sustain these quality improvement initiatives.


Conclusion: Revisions to clinical guidelines for resuscitation care since the 1990s have resulted in medical centers developing improved resuscitation processes that require management. The manager enhances collaborative quality improvement efforts that are in line with Institute of Medicine recommendations.


Implications: The role of resuscitation process manager may be of interest to medical centers striving for excellence in evidence-based resuscitation care.