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Cardiac Arrest Registry

Each year, roughly 300,000 people in the United States will experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) and nine out of those 10 people will die. Despite decades of research, median reported rates of survival from OHCA to hospital discharge have stubbornly persisted. Even worse, without a uniform and reliable method of data collection, communities cannot measure the effectiveness of their response systems or assess whether changes or new initiatives are making an impact.

The Goal:
The South Carolina Hospital Association is working hard to integrate the CARES registry across South Carolina. CARES is a secure, web-based data management system in which participating communities enter local data and generate their own reports. Communities can then compare their EMS system’s performance to aggregated statistics at the local, state or national level and identify areas for potential improvement. The CARES registry helps strengthen the collaboration between 911 centers, first responders, EMS agencies and hospitals.

Method & Implementation:
Implementing the registry requires an EMS contact to serve as a local CARES administrator for the agency and oversee operations. The EMS contact also is the liaison between the EMS agency and the national CARES staff throughout participation with CARES. This contact will work with CARES staff to determine how to implement the data collection and will regularly monitor the program as well.

A CARES contact person also needs to be identified at each participating hospital. The only requirement for a contact is access to hospital records to obtain outcome data. The hospital dataset consists of five simple questions and is only required for worked arrests of non-traumatic etiology where the EMS crew indicates there was ongoing resuscitation in the emergency department. The hospital contact will be given access to the CARES website and can enter hospital outcomes at their convenience.

SCHA has provided a statewide subscription to CARES as well as a statewide coordinator who acts as a liaison with CARES and trains local EMS agencies and hospitals. The Association has worked to gradually expand CARES across the state to increase the comparative value of the data.

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