An evaluation of the Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) Demonstration

6.10 Suggested improvements to the Pad Demonstration

Page last updated: August 2008


In general, managers expressed a high degree of satisfaction with the implementation of the Pad Demonstration. Any issues that may have been encountered in the initial implementation phases generally related to 'red-tape' within the host organisation rather than the implementation by St John:

I have to say we were pretty impressed with the whole process, there is not a lot that I would complain about, and it all went really smoothly. It's been here for over a year, we probably started working with St John 2 years ago, so as far as I can recall it was all fine
No - I can't fault them. They gave me a lot of support and allayed all our fears.
I can't fault the girl from St John in any way. The lady that did ours was absolutely brilliant, she chased us up, was continually on our back to hurry up and get it organized, so she was really good. We could probably have responded a little quicker (from head office) but from St John perspective it was perfect.
Some expressed a need to allay the fears of management and staff that an AED is safe to use and does not pose a health risk. The DVD was specifically mentioned as a useful resource for communicating the benefits of installation and was also suggested as useful tool for refreshers:

There are no issues from St John, it was more having or being able to communicate the ease of the system, and that it didn't pose a risk to our organisation - because people think defibrillators need to be used by highly trained people, we really need to put those myths to bed and get people up to date with the new technology.
There was a fear amongst management that someone could get hurt by the AED if it was played with - there were concerns as to how safe it would be. The DVD changed their opinion though - it showed that it was easy to use and wouldn't hurt anyone.
I do think that (organisation) should have a very simple to follow video explaining the device. I believe that we should have trained staff - and by that I mean staff who are given training (four times a year), just how to use the AED, because if you are only trained once a year you forget and get nervous. Top of page
A number of managers made suggestions for improvement to the training. This was perceived to be particularly relevant as time elapses and more host organisations have to ensure that an adequate number of staff is trained and re-trained:
  • Reminders of the need for a refresher course and on-going training for new staff:
    It has all been fairly straight forward but it would be good if they reminded you that on-going training was going to occur. Would also be if we could extend the training to other staff in our organisation. If it became an annual requirement, St John were excellent.
    There was a lack of follow-up to ensure that there is additional training every 12 months to account for staff turnover.

  • More flexible hours for training:
    Given that our organisation works shifts, we couldn't get as many staff trained as we would've liked - we are not a 9 to 5 scenario so we are limited. St John needed to be more flexible.

  • Reduce the cost of training, particularly for refresher courses:
    Maybe St John could engage in a mass training course or refresher course (somewhere central) and free for all employees that have an AED.
    The initial training was also very good. Just the cost of the on-going training was an issue. I think the refresher training could be made a bit cheaper.
    Perhaps a theory by means of a DVD could be considered a refresher course. I am happy to purchase a training video without having to fork out thousands of dollars for training every year.
A few managers suggested more resource material being available including DVDs, pamphlets, information and programs for use by staff. Although it is known that this was provided, the resources may not have been used as effectively as possible.

A number of managers would have liked more follow-up after the initial installation to ensure everything was on track and they had all that they required, including accessories for the AED:

I think the follow-up could have been improved, the lead-up was very good, but what needs to happen is afterwards, say 3 months down the track, just ask how are things going, someone come out, perhaps more training, maintenance and replacing batteries.
I had to make several calls to St John to follow for all the accessories, I wasn't really clear what was required, it would be good to have some clear recommendations on what you need, and hand it all over as one package instead of just a defibrillator.
The only thing that I would query would be the addition of child pads to the AED, because that is an essential and we currently don't have any. Top of page


Trained staff were also satisfied with their involvement in the implementation process:

The truth is I don't think it could be improved much more, everything they taught us was fairly clear and concise, it’s just a matter of if something happens, following the training that we have been given.
Don't think I have any creative feedback to give. With the action plans that we put in place due to the training, it’s all very relevant, informative, clear and concise. I was happy with the training and I thought it was very clear.
A few staff indicated that St John should use the model of the AED at their organisation during the training, and that without doing so had reduced their confidence to use the AED:

On our refresher course we had a different person do it and they brought in a different AED to the one we have, so I'm not entirely confident with the machine.
More training with the actual defibrillators that we've got…it's the same principles but it's different.
Their main comments for improvement related to the future and the need for refresher courses. Some staff implied that these courses should be initiated by St John, rather than it being the responsibility of management within the host organisation:

I think if there is any improvement it's in the ongoing part. So the initial training was really good but I think there should be an aspect of ongoing training involved because you forget how to use it.
That just depends. Are there any follow-up courses? I would want to ensure that there is a yearly refresher course for everyone who has got one.
Some sort of reminder to those that have done the course. Maybe an e-mail quarterly to remind us to refresh and how to use the AED.
Probably just to book refresher courses every year, like they could ring you every year and say you haven't had a refresher course on the defibrillator for 12 months so we need to come out and do another one.