How to Build and Implement 2010’s Defibrillator Program – in Less than a Week!
The Managing Director of the office calls the Office Manager into her office and says “like it or not, 2010 is the year we’re deploying AED units for each of our offices in North America.” The Office Manager, having only elementary experience in first aid training, looks down at his blank notepad, the pad he hoped would be used to discuss increasing the year’s office supplies budget, and remains silent, knowing that when the Director asks for something, her expectation is that it’ll be delivered. Additionally, he knows that if he’s to keep his position through the year, he must be prepared to deliver a plan of action as soon as possible.
Such situations are common across the country. Prior to discussing alternatives with project managers, management introduce new programs and expect results.
Naturally, the Office Manager begins by surfing the web, Google has always been an ally during tough times. After punching in ” AED units,” the Office Manager is stunned by the amount of attention paid to a topic he didn’t know existed until hours earlier. Google advertisements flash prices, websites tout the competitive advantages of their products, and overwhelming images of colorful products take over the Office Manager’s screen. He recalls from his first aid and CPR training courses that there are some other requirements to buying a defibrillator, but what are they? Each of the vendors on the web appear to address only one aspect of the program, the AED unit. What about the training? What about our thirty offices across the country, there have to be price discounts, right? While buying a number of units seems to be easy, the Office Manager knows that buying 30+ bulky boxes, having them delivered to his Class A corporate office building, and then re-shipping them across the country isn’t feasible. Additionally, asking the Administrators of each facility “to find training” for their site won’t result in a consistent national program. So what to do? And how to do it quickly, before the Managing Director wants to “check in?”
First, “the Office Manager should take their attention away from the AED unit,” states Micah Bongberg, President of Annuvia, a national CPR and First Aid training organization and distributor of various types of AED units. “Commonly, too much emphasis is placed on the differences between AED unit types, not on building long-lasting, legally-compliant programs. The fact is, we don’t know when, and if, the AED will need to be used, however, we do know that once a program is in place, its important to maintain and manage the program forever, as one would any important organizational change.”
Day One: Needs Assessment
The firm must start from scratch and analyzing their needs. Creating a simple spreadsheet and answering the following questions will help.
1. How many facilities do we have and where are they located?
2. How large are these facilities (by square footage and number of floors)?
3. How many employees do we have at each location?
4. When was our last CPR/AED training session and who was trained?
5. Do we currently have any AED units in the field, if so, where are they?
During the first day the Office Manager is building the foundation for his program. “A state of paralysis is common,” states Bongberg “and should be expected, though avoided. Rather than being consumed with inadequacies, deviations, problems, and gaps in his spreadsheet, the Office Manager should fill in all known inputs, with the understanding the that gaps will be filled in due course.”
Day Two: Legal Requirements
Identify any unique legal requirements for owning and managing an AED program. All 50 States have adopted Good Samaritan immunity protection, however, each has different provisions, so it is important to know the particularities for your facilities’ locations. The Office Manager should use the “location” column of his spreadsheet to cross-reference and find any known legislation. Attention should be paid to the source of the information, as commonly, self-proposed “experts” in the field misinterpret statutes and mandates. The Office Manager should find trust in web-sources that end in “.gov.” Pay particular attention to training requirements, any mandatory accessories, reporting to local EMS or fire agencies, and on-going record-keeping requirements. Experts like Annuvia specialize in providing access to such resources and can help cut through State codes to help organizations determine which statutes are relevant to their needs.
Day Three: Build the Program
Determine a reasonable budget. As the Office Manager has likely learned, defibrillation within 3-5 minutes can result in greater than a 70% chance of survival and early access to an AED unit is vital, however, while they may hope for an AED unit at each employee’s desk, there is a point of diminishing returns for buying AED units. “Typically, we encourage organizations to place an AED units up to a maximum radius of 200-300 feet or a round-trip response time of no more than 3 minutes from the victim to the AED unit and back to the victim” says Bongberg. “Any barriers such as cubicles, stairs, chairs and desks should be accounted for and identified.”
Simple back-of-the-envelope calculations will help businesses narrow in on their budgetary requirements. These calculations should be made for each location, and identify the number of AED units for each location in their spreadsheet. Time should be taken during this step, however, the Office Manager shouldn’t be overwhelmed with meeting a rigid threshold. Relying on common sense is best.
Next the Office Manager should use a similar approach for identifying CPR training needs. Training typically consists of course, or session, in which up to 10 students attend. Rather than assuming 1-2 people will be trained per floor, the Office Manager should think in blocks of 10. Never knowing who will be on-site during an emergency, its best if many employees have the skills needed to respond.
After day three, the Office Manager will have the number of AED unit packages and the number of training sessions needed for their facility.
Day Four: Determine a Reasonable Budget
Knowing the number of AED devices and the number of individuals the Office Manager would like to train, today is the day he’ll focus on a reasonable budget for his needs. Using resources such as an AED comparison matrix, will allow him to analyze all of the AED units with a side-by-side analysis as well as learn the high-end of the cost spectrum.
Calling a national CPR and AED training company, like Annuvia, will equip the Office Manager with the size of a national training investment. It will also give him a chance to verify his predictions and receive feedback on the program in its most recent form. The Office Manager is encouraged to ask the training company about AED units, prices, and recommendations. Increasingly, CPR and AED training providers have begun selling AED devices, so the chances are good the Office Manager will find a turn-key solution with one vendor. Once the estimates are in, he is ready to meet with the Managing Director.
Day Five: Sign-off and Procurement
After the Managing Director’s elation with the Office Manager’s progress subsides, he should receive confirmation of his program and the requisite financial commitment for his needs. Since he’s built the vast majority of his program already, on his trusty spreadsheet, the remainder of Day Five’s time should be spent re-connecting with vendors he’s identified, reviewing proposals, and pushing “go” on his firm’s new AED program.
To receive a free sample copy of a spreadsheet similar to the one the Office Manager in this example compiled, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and enter “spreadsheet” in the body of your inquiry.