Standardising defibrillators for North Wales in the UK

In North Wales, UK, the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board represents the largest health organisation, with a budget of £1.3 billion and a workforce of over 17,000 staff. The Board covers three main hospitals - Wrexham, Glan Clwyd and Bangor – plus a large geographical area containing many community hospitals, providing primary, community, mental health and acute hospital services for the population of North Wales.

For over seven years, the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board aimed to standardise its defibrillators, with a long and complex tender that asked for one supplier to fulfil the equipment requirements of the entire region.

A project with high standards, rigorous requirements

The scale of the project required a supplier that could deliver enough devices for the entire North Wales region, while the Board also required the supplier to provide both AEDs and manual devices.

In addition, there were specific procurement standards for the defibrillators: the devices had to be extremely intuitive to reduce the risk of mis-operation in high-pressure situations, and the devices should be reliable with minimal maintenance requirements.

Comprehensive solution to maximize the usability

Usability is the key to a defibrillator, with intuitive features able to save crucial time in a resuscitation attempt. Studies have shown that when a patient suffers cardiac arrest, success rates for defibrillation drop for every second between CPR and defibrillation shock[1]. Every second counts, which is why Mindray defibrillators offer extremely intuitive operation and powerful performance.

When criteria changed to reflect resuscitation guidelines, the Board became aware of Mindray’s devices and included Mindray in its shortlist. After a series of trials across its three main sites, the Board selected Mindray to help standardise its defibrillator fleet.

“It has been a long search for the right product but with Mindray’s defibrillators we have found devices that are extremely user-friendly and consider the human factors at work in a resuscitation attempt. We particularly like the clear mode-selection dial on the manual defibrillators, helping users easily navigate the device in high-pressure situations.”

Sarah Bellis, Resuscitation Services Manager at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

Mindray was able to provide a comprehensive solution to meet the requirements of the Board. In future, the connected features of the defibrillators will help further minimize the risks during emergencies.

A mix of manual defibrillator and AED

Mindray provided hundreds of BeneHeart D1 Pro AED and BeneHeart D3 manual defibrillators.

Intuitive designs

The BeneHeart D3 and D1 both scored the best for usability in the Board’s trials.

Connectivity

Wi-Fi and built-in HL7 are available for both the BeneHeart D3 and D6, enabling a smooth data sharing.

Device reliability

Automatic daily self-tests and reliable long-lasting batteries ensure the device is ready for use when called upon while also minimising the maintenance burden.

The Solution

A huge step to benefit patients and medical staff

With the defibrillators standardised, the Health Board streamlines the training process, thereby further improving patient safety. In addition, the connectivity-ready devices allow the Board to meet future digital healthcare objectives including electronic patient record (EPR) connectivity.

Moreover, the defibrillators have intuitive designs and easy-operating features, which help medical staff mitigate the risk of delay or error, when navigating the devices. Also, it takes only five seconds to shock on the BeneHeart D3 and D6, thereby ensuring an efficient and rapid response to cardiac arrests.

In addition to the reliable devices, Mindray’s service support helps ensure the Board’s maintenance requirements are well met, providing peace of mind for its engineers.

“Our main concern as engineers is the reliability of the defibrillators and service support, resulting in manageable maintenance requirements. Mindray’s products and support ticked all of those boxes, helping us standardise our devices with a company we trust.”

Mel Lewis, head of EBME at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

Standardising resuscitation equipment in hospitals is recommended by the Resuscitation Council (UK) guidelines and helps remove any variances in training and response, ultimately helping improve patient safety. By standardising their equipment for the entire North Wales region, the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has taken a huge step to benefit their patients and medical staff.

Combining the rapid shock times and intuitive operation of Mindray defibrillators, with reliable support and maintenance, this project has helped the region to deliver a comprehensive resuscitation service with devices and support they can trust.

References:

[1] Edelson DP, Abella BS, Kramer-Johansen J, et al. Effects of compression depth and pre-shock pauses predict defibrillation failure during cardiac arrest. Resuscitation. 2006 Nov;71(2):137-45.

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