Frequently Asked Questions about HeartCode® ACLS

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As the nurse consultant to the Sacramento Fire Department, I have found eACLS to be the perfect solution “I just Love it!!! I really appreciate the self-service because I am a second and third shift type worker. This web-site allows me to get my re-certification without having to lose sleep, rearrange my schedule, pre-registration with my employer or spend all day in a classroom. And it allows me to review anytime I like. I have already told my health care co-workers about this site. I will definitely use it again!!!”

Denise
Texas
What is HeartCode ACLS Part 1?
HeartCode ACLS Part 1 is a Web-based, self-paced instructional program that uses eSimulation technology to allow students to assess and treat patients in virtual healthcare settings. In this environment, students apply their knowledge to real-time decision making and skills development. Debriefings and coaching are provided immediately after each simulation to facilitate learning. After completing the cognitive portion of the course, students practice and test their skills with an AHA Instructor or on a voice-assisted manikin (VAM) system. Upon successful completion of the cognitive and skills tests, students receive a course completion card.

HeartCode ACLS Part 1 presents 10 interactive hospital-based cases to teach ACLS knowledge. The program builds on the foundation of lifesaving BLS for Healthcare Providers skills, emphasizing the importance of continuous, high-quality CPR. Program content highlights the importance of team dynamics and communication, systems of care and immediate post-cardiac arrest care. The program also covers airway management and related pharmacology.
What content is taught in HeartCode ACLS Part 1?
Content covered in this program includes:
  • Key changes in advanced cardiovascular life support, reflecting the 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care
  • Recognition and early management of respiratory and cardiac arrest
  • Recognition and early management of periarrest conditions such as symptomatic bradycardia
  • Airway management
  • Related pharmacology
  • Management of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) and stroke
  • Effective communication as a member and leader of a resuscitation team
Who is the target audience for this program?
HeartCode ACLS Part 1 is for healthcare professionals who either direct or participate in the management of cardiopulmonary arrest and other cardiovascular emergencies, specifically those seeking an alternative (nonclassroom) method for completing an initial or update ACLS Course.

HeartCode ACLS Part 1 requires prior knowledge that will be applied in using the ACLS treatment algorithms. Unprepared or inexperienced students may require additional time to complete HeartCode ACLS Part 1. To be successful in any ACLS course, students should be able to identify ECG rhythms and should know pharmacology specific to cardiopulmonary arrest and other cardiopulmonary emergencies before beginning the course. It is strongly recommended that students review the ACLS course materials contained within the program and complete the Precourse Self-Assessment prior to attempting the patient cases.
What is the format of this program?
Using eSimulation technology, HeartCode ACLS Part 1 presents 10 adult patient cases with up to four healthcare providers, including one BLS case; seven cases representing cardiovascular, respiratory and stroke emergencies; and two Megacodes. Students assess and treat patients virtually and receive real-time debriefing and coaching. The program also teaches critical concepts and knowledge through videos.

To receive an ACLS course completion card using this program, students must complete three parts:
  • HeartCode ACLS Part 1. Upon successful completion of the online portion, including the written exam, students receive a Part 1 certificate of completion, which must be presented for parts 2 and 3.
  • Part 2*, a hands-on skills practice session with an AHA ACLS Instructor or using a voice- assisted manikin (VAM) system
  • Part 3*, a skills test with an AHA ACLS Instructor or using a VAM system
*Parts 2 and 3 should be completed in one "skills practice and testing" session.
What are some of the features of HeartCode ACLS Part 1?
Course features include:
  • Self-paced and accessible 24 hours a day
  • Ten interactive, hospital-based patient scenarios, using eSimulation technology
  • Precourse Self-Assessment to gauge students’ knowledge and application of ECG recognition and pharmacology
  • Debriefings and coaching provided immediately after each simulation, with hyperlinks to the referenced section of the ACLS Provider Manual
  • Team dynamics lesson reinforces critical concepts for communication and effectiveness
  • Emphasis on effective code team leader skills
  • Multiple choice, 50-question exam to test cognitive knowledge; program immediately identifies incorrect answers and provides a hyperlink to the appropriate section of the ACLS Provider Manual for instant remediation
  • Certificate of completion available to print when Part 1 has been completed successfully
  • Online access to the ACLS Provider Manual, the 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR & ECC and the 2010 Handbook of Emergency Cardiovascular Care for Healthcare Providers
  • Provides access to all information in course for 24 months (two years) following activation of course key
  • Provides up to 10.25 hours continuing education credit
Approximately how long does HeartCode ACLS Part 1 take to complete?
Part 1 can be completed in approximately 10 hours; however, unprepared or inexperienced students may require additional time. Also, the time to complete may be longer if students are using the program at a location where there is a firewall. Time to complete a skills practice and testing session (Parts 2 and 3) varies.
Is there a test score that must be achieved by students in order to successfully complete HeartCode ACLS Part 1?
Yes, students must score at least 84% on the online written test, which is consistent with all of AHA’s healthcare courses.
Is a skills session required?
Yes. To earn an AHA ACLS course completion card, students must successfully complete an ACLS skills practice and testing session (Parts 2 and 3 of the course) with an AHA ACLS Instructor or using a voice assisted manikin (VAM) system. Students must bring their Part 1 Certificate of Completion to the skills session.
After completion of HeartCode ACLS Part 1, how long do students have to complete the skills practice and testing session?
Students are allowed up to 60 days after the completion of the online part of the course to complete the skills session.
What skills are tested during the skills testing session?
During skills testing, students must successfully demonstrate competency performing the following skills:
  • 1-Rescuer Adult CPR and AED
  • Bag-mask Ventilation
  • Megacode
Is a Megacode test required?
With the completion of HeartCode ACLS Part 1, team or group Megacode practice and testing is highly recommended for skills testing led by an AHA Instructor and through a VAM system. An individual’s Megacode knowledge is tested in the cognitive (Part 1) section of HeartCode ACLS, but group interaction and communication testing with a Megacode is highly recommended. In both skills testing cases, Megacode “team training” in as close to a real code environment as possible emphasizes the importance of team interaction and communication in advanced cardiovascular life support.
Is the Precourse Self-Assessment required?
Completion of the Precourse Self-Assessment prior to beginning HeartCode ACLS Part 1 is highly recommended to help students identify knowledge gaps; however, it is not required.
Is HeartCode ACLS Part 1 AHA-approved program?
Yes. This is an official American Heart Association program.
Is HeartCode ACLS Part 1 only for renewals (updates) or can it be used for initial ACLS course completion as well?
This program is approved for both update and initial ACLS courses.

However, HeartCode ACLS Part 1 requires prior knowledge that will be applied in using the ACLS treatment algorithms. Unprepared or inexperienced students may require additional time to complete HeartCode ACLS Part 1. To be successful in any ACLS course, students should be able to identify ECG rhythms and should know pharmacology specific to cardiopulmonary arrest and other cardiopulmonary emergencies before beginning the course. It is strongly recommended that students review the ACLS course materials contained within the program and complete the Precourse Self-Assessment prior to attempting the patient cases.
Can students log in and out of the course?
Yes. Students can log in and out as many times as they choose. To log out, students will click the "Click here to logout" link located at the top of the page after login. When the student is ready to continue training, he/she can return to MyOnlineAHA.org and login with his/her registered email and password.
Can course material be accessed after the online portion is completed?
Yes, students may access all material included in the HeartCode ACLS Part 1 program for 24 months (two years) following activation of their key.
Does successful completion of HeartCode ACLS Part 1 result in receipt of an AHA course completion card? If so, what card?
Upon successful completion of all three parts, (online course and skills practice and testing session), students will receive an AHA ACLS course completion card, issued by their Instructor’s Training Center. This card is valid for two years.
Does HeartCode ACLS Part 1 offer continuing education (CE/CME/CEH)?
Yes. Students who successfully complete the program may claim the following CE/CME/CEHs:

Continuing Medical Education Accreditation – Physicians
The American Heart Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American Heart Association designates this enduring material for a maximum of 9.75 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

All faculty participating in CME/CE activities sponsored by The American Heart Association will disclose to the audience (1) significant financial relationships with the manufacturer(s) of products from the commercial supporter(s) and /or the manufacturer(s) of products or devices discussed in their presentation, and (2) unlabeled/unapproved uses of drugs or devices discussed in their presentation. Such disclosures will be made in writing in course presentation materials.

Continuing Medical Education Accreditation – Physician Assistants
AAPA accepts Category I credit from AOACCME, Prescribed credit from AAFP, and AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM from organizations accredited by ACCME.

Continuing Education Accreditation – Nurses
The American Heart Association is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

The maximum number of hours awarded for this CE activity is 9.75 contact hours.

Accredited status does not imply endorsement by the American Heart Association or the American Nurses Credentialing Center of any commercial products displayed in conjunction with an activity.

Continuing Education Accreditation – Pharmacists
The American Heart Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. ACPE Credit: 10.00 Contact Hours or 1.000 CEUs. Universal Program Number: 0256-0000-11-647-H01-P.

Successful completion of this CE activity includes the following: Students are presented with a Team Dynamics lesson, 10 ACLS cases in hospital-based scenarios, and a written test. While interacting with the program, students assess each patient, formulate a treatment plan based on ACLS guidelines, and provide treatment. Once successful completion has been achieved, a CME/CE certificate can be claimed immediately by clicking on the CME/CE link or request button. Complete the series of demographic questions including the selection of your discipline and then click on the Show or Print button to retrieve.

Continuing Education Accreditation – Emergency Medical Services
This continuing education activity is approved by the American Heart Association, an organization accredited by the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CECBEMS), for 10.25 Advanced CEHs, activity number 11-AMHA-F3-0123.
How should students or employers schedule a skills practice and testing session with an AHA ACLS Instructor?
To find an ACLS Skills Session, students can use the ECC Class Connector tool.
Does the program require special computer or support software?
The minimum and recommended computer requirements are listed in the table below. You can click on Browser Check to make sure your browser is compatible. In addition, student and administrator hardware should be the recommended requirements. PLEASE NOTE: HeartCode programs are not supported by Apple Safari.

Minimum requirements Recommended
Windows XP or Mac OSX Windows XP or Mac OSX
2 GHz Pentium 4 or equivalent 2.4 GHz or higher
768Mb Ram 1Gb or higher
Adobe Flash Player 10.1 Adobe Flash Player 10.1
512Kbit/s Bandwidth 1 Mbit/s or higher
Web Browser Internet Explorer 7+ or Firefox 2+