AAIM grant aids novel 'Code Blue' training program

Unique curriculum aims to educate medical trainees in an inter-professional setting to improve their response to cardiac arrest
AAIM grant aids novel 'Code Blue' training program

University of Louisville medical trainees run through a simulated Code Blue event in the Paris Simulation Center at the UofL School of Medicine.


Thanks to a $2,500 Innovation Grant from the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine, a new program at the University of Louisville aims to use simulation and a team approach to saving lives when seconds count.

Led by Lorrel Brown, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine and Associate Director of the Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship Program in the UofL Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, a multi-disciplinary group of educators in the UofL Department of Medicine have implemented a unique curriculum teaching teams of providers how to successfully function during a cardiac arrest in the hospital, known as "Code Blue."

In recognition of the novel nature of this curriculum, Brown was recently awarded the grant from the AAIM for her "Improving 'Code Blue' Resuscitation in the Medical ICU: An Inter-Professional Approach Utilizing Team-Based Simulation and Interactive Group Training" program.

The grant will support not only the curriculum, but scholarly research into its effectiveness at improving team performance during the low-frequency, high-stakes Code Blue events.

"Dr. Brown should be commended for her leadership in resident education and for spearheading this innovative approach to training Residents to manage cardiac arrest," Robert Bolli, M.D., FAHA, Chief the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine said. "Her energy, dedication, and vision have been invaluable to our educational mission. The program funded by this grant will definitely improve residents’ ability to handle a cardiac arrest, and is particularly important to those who are not exposed to a sufficiently large number of arrests."

Brown's team includes Drs. Jennifer Koch (Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program), Rodrigo Cavallazi (Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Disorders Medicine), Ishan Mehta (Chief Resident), Wendy Bottinor (Cardiology fellow), Nate Peyton (medical student) and Mandi Walker, RN (Director of ACLS training at University of Louisville Hospital).

This curriculum attempts to bridge the gap between knowledge and practical skill, by using simulation technology to simulate the uncertainty, stress, and practical considerations during a "Code Blue" situation.

Using a novel team-teaching approach instead of training providers in their individual silos - nurses with nurses, physicians with physicians - this curriculum brings together an inter-professional group of providers including Internal Medicine resident physicians, ICU nurses, respiratory therapists, and Pharmacy residents.

In addition, these teams are assembled based upon real-world working teams, i.e. all participants in the curriculum work together in the Medical ICU at University of Louisville Hospital.

Trainees have an opportunity to run through a simulated cardiac arrest, then review their own performance including video footage of the scenario, and finally reinforce their learning through a second simulation exercise.