On the MedicCast, Jamie Davis interviews Roy Shaw of SUMO about a method of remote CPR certification for health care providers.
The Single Use Manikin Option, or SUMO™, is an AHA-compliant way of getting certified in CPR completely online.
It looks too simple, but how complicated should we make it?
One of the problems with EMS is that we do not maintain skills that we do not use frequently. We know that we lose our skills very quickly, but we only retrain every couple of years (or every year) for the skills considered most important. If we care about our patients’ outcomes, we need to do better.
Not only have varying rates of skill acquisition been documented after traditional American Heart Association (AHA) training classes, but also universally poor skill performance of varying providers 3 to 6 months after CPR training has been established.11,–,15 
Supervised on-line mannequin practice may be the most practical way for us to increase the rate of providing hands-on practice. As cameras become cheaper and smaller, as cell phones become much more interactive, we may have a way to do the same for intubation. Is there any good reason for practicing intubation less than once a month?
We need to improve our intubation, but everyone seems to think that the problem is with other medics and they do not need any practice. When the research is done, the problems continue. We like to intubate. We assume we are good at it. We hate to practice. we really like to make excuses. Our patients are the ones who are harmed. Other than bad assessment, bad intubation is probably the most deadly skill we have.
Training sessions occurred at entry into the study (time 0: initial skill acquisition) and then 1, 3, and 6 months after study entry.
Each training session was less than five minutes long (one minute of testing, then two minutes of training), so the interference with work would be minimal, while the benefit would be significant.
In this study, lower rates of retention were observed in the training group that did not use a live instructor (automated defibrillator feedback only) compared with the group that used an instructor without automated feedback (instructor-only training).
They suggest that the participants relied on the feedback from the automated devices and may not have learned to assess their performance themselves. During testing, the lack of machine feedback may have put them at a disadvantage. If machine feedback can be provided at the time of initiating compressions, The machine feedback could help. currently, that does not seem likely, so the use of only machine feedback is not as good an option as feedback from an instructor or from an instructor and a machine.
Although the automated feedback provided was targeted to CPR psychomotor skill errors, these systems do not provide constructive positive feedback. Instructors have an advantage: they were able to comment not only on skills done incorrectly, but also praise good performance.
How well would this work in EMS?
We could make this something that is done once a week, or even at the beginning of each shift, on a different skill each time. Intubation/Airway management is the weak spot of EMS, so we could use this to improve.
If are only retraining on intubation/airway management once a year, or once every other year, we obviously are not taking patient care seriously and are trusting our luck, rather than any skill.
Go listen to the podcast on the Single Use Manikin Option (SUMO™) and consider if that would be a better way of recertifying. Maybe it is one way of implementing brief low-dose, high-frequency booster training in addition to recertification.
Also check out the site –
 Low-dose, high-frequency CPR training improves skill retention of in-hospital pediatric providers.
Sutton RM, Niles D, Meaney PA, Aplenc R, French B, Abella BS, Lengetti EL, Berg RA, Helfaer MA, Nadkarni V.
Pediatrics. 2011 Jul;128(1):e145-51. doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-2105. Epub 2011 Jun 6.
PMID: 21646262 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
Sutton RM, Niles D, Meaney PA, Aplenc R, French B, Abella BS, Lengetti EL, Berg RA, Helfaer MA, Nadkarni V. (2011). Low-Dose, High-Frequency CPR Training Improves Skill Retention of In-Hospital Pediatric Providers PEDIATRICS, 128 (1) DOI: 10.1542/peds.2010-2105d