Mecklenburg EMS Agency (Medic) is the exclusive provider of emergency dispatch and ambulance service in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Medic is governed by and Agency Board of Commissioners, which includes representation from both major hospital systems in the county, Atrium Health and Novant Health. This partnership has been in place since 1997 and has resulted in some of the best cardiac patient outcomes in the country. To improve cardiac arrest survival rates even further, Medic collaborated with Atrium and Novant to launch Keep the Beat (KTB). The initiative aims to decrease cardiac mortality rates by focusing on promoting bystander CPR. Keep the Beat offers free hands-only and non-certified CPR training sessions to groups of 25 or more. The program also implemented PulsePoint Respond, a free mobile application that alerts users of cardiac arrest emergencies within a ¼ mile of their location. The training efforts and PulsePoint combined are meant to empower as many citizens as possible to save a life in their community.
1. Train > 600 people in bystander CPR per month
2. Achieve >300 PulsePoint downloads per month
3. Increase overall bystander CPR in Mecklenburg County by X over the next 5 years
Planning & Implementation
The entire development and launch of the program took place over the course of 7 months in the following phases:
Phase 1: Both hospital systems and Medic formed an oversight committee of physicians and leadership invested in cardiac care. The committee agreed upon a formal contract outlining project goals, parameters and responsibilities:
• Both hospital systems financially supported the creation of a Program Administrator to manage KTB.
• Medic’s Public Relations Department would provide administrative duties for the position, such as onboarding, providing an office space and payroll.
• The program’s lifespan is two-five years. Two years guaranteed, while all parties may agree upon additional years up to five.
Phase 2: Medic’s Public Relations team created a promotional kit for KTB comprised of branding and logo designs, a fact sheet, sample launch email language and messaging, an infographic, businesses cards, rack card, pop-up banners, video b-roll, press release, training video and launch strategy. Concurrently, the Program Administrator role was filled and weekly conference calls between Medic and the PulsePoint Foundation were held to kick start the implementation process for the app into Medic’s 911 Communication Center.
Phase 3: The Program Administrator began reaching out to key businesses and potential partners to introduce the program and explore potential trainings or PulsePoint promotional opportunities. The Public Relations team worked with community engagement, public relations, and marketing teams from Atrium and Novant to execute the launch strategy. PulsePoint was thoroughly tested by the 911 Communications Center and IT Department.
Phase 4: The program launched internally during a tiered process. First, Medic employees were trained and employee messaging was pushed through various channels. Both hospital systems soon followed before then introducing KTB to fellow first responders in Mecklenburg County including fire departments, police departments, and the county sheriff’s office.
Phase 5: Keep the Beat launched publicly through a press event. All local television, radio, and print media outlets were invited to Medic headquarters to hear representatives from Medic, Atrium and Novant spoke on the importance of the program, cardiac awareness and bystander CPR. Scheduled one-on-one interviews were offered to the media featuring cardiac arrest survivors, who told their story along with their physician. The launch garnered 298,401 TV audience reached, 36,138 Facebook reach, 8,593 Twitter impressions.
Phase 6: KTB Program Administrator works towards monthly goals by building relationships with partner organizations. Performance measures are evaluated and reported on a monthly basis. Medic, Atrium and Novant continue to provide support for oversight, guidance and promotion.
Results from January 2019-August 2019:
1. Train > 600 people in bystander CPR per month-EXCEEDING- 883 individuals per month average
2. Achieve >300 PulsePoint downloads per month-EXCEEDING-453 downloads per month average (3,627 total)
3. Increase overall bystander CPR in Mecklenburg County by 20% over the next 5 years-ONGOING-Data is being monitored. Eight months is not an acceptable timeframe to measure the effectiveness of this program.
Keep the Beat significantly enhances Medic’s ability to connect with the community by serving our patients in a different way; equipping the people around them with life-saving skills. The county now has over 7,000 more people trained in bystander CPR than was the case eight months ago. Over 3,000 are waiting to be alerted on their cell phones if someone nearby needs help. In addition, because PulsePoint has the capability for users to upload AED locations, the AED registry in Mecklenburg County has risen 24%.
$51,000 annually for up to 5 years