Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center

The Impact of CPI Training

  • Decreased need for restraint and seclusion
  • Increased staff confidence
  • Decreased reaction time to volatile situations
  • Improved staff attitudes and adaptability
  • Improved communication lines
  • Collaborative brainstorming about how to can provide better patient care


Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center sought to assemble a set of tools that staff could use to prevent and de-escalate situations, continually improve patient care techniques, diminish the need for use of restraints, and adapt to change.


Dave Mischel, a nurse in the hospital’s psychiatric unit, initially trained those departments dealing with the most acute patients, but it has since extended the training to a wide variety of employees involved with patient care, including all RNs, social workers, CNAs, and EMTs. He has also consulted with other hospitals on structuring their training programs.

“We are a better team as a result of the CPI training—it has brought us closer together as a staff, improved communication lines, and resulted in collaborative brainstorming about how we can provide better patient care.”

-Dave Mischel
Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center
La Crosse, WI


Since integrating CPI’s training, Gundersen Lutheran has seen a marked decrease in the need for and the use of restraints or seclusion, a greater cooperation with staff, and an improved quality in care.

Key results include:

  • Training instilled a common language and approach that transcends and helps break down silos.
  • Staff now comes together to deal with aggressive and anxious patients in a unified fashion.
  • Staff are empowered to be more adaptive.
  • Teams collectively debrief and plan for how to best improve going forward.

Mischel credits CPI’s programs, saying “We cannot simply declare a single approach for each and every patient. The training allows us to develop a care plan that best addresses a patient’s special circumstances and personality.”

“This is not a top-down, pedantic approach. Once the program is implemented, it becomes a continual learning process in which we are all teachers—and learners. More than simply imparting a technique, CPI helped us facilitate a culture change.”

-Dave Mischel
Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center
La Crosse, WI

Another factor in the success of the programs has been the flexibility and adaptation inherent in CPI’s curriculum. Using a blended approach of both classroom and individualized online instruction allows Gundersen to train staff in an affordable and efficient manner. “CPI has been most receptive and responsive to our requests for a program that best accommodates the unique needs of our facility and staff.”

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