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Merger of two systems into one alert system nationwide

Several initiatives with citizen assistance are often scattered over a country (or region). This leads to fragmentation and does not support optimum results. Stan has experience with merging existing systems and implementing them within one uniform system, nationwide. That is, not only the technical merger, but also the setting up of a national policy, support department and aftercare facilities. We also supported the involvement of small scale local initiatives by making them a partner of the national system, while respecting and even facilitating their local working methods and activities. 

This is how we bundled existing initiatives and merged them into one national system with equal and optimum survival chances for victims in the Netherlands:

1. The challenge

HeartsafeLiving (now known as Stan) and HartslagNu, the previous two alert systems in the Netherlands, joined forces and moved to one national system. The national system alerts citizen responders when there is a 112 notification of a cardiac arrest in their neighbourhood. Stan delivers the technology for the new national alert system for CPR, which is now called HartslagNu.

The challenge involved the migrating of a database of 130,000 citizen responders and 12,000 AED’s to a new system and the technical updating of 25 dispatch centers including reconnecting them to the latest software. 

2. The solution

To ensure a successful and smooth data migration we divided the technical work into six phases:

Phase 1: upgrade all Dutch dispatch centers with the latest software and reconnect them to Ambulance Services Netherlands.  

Phase 2: test new alert system from all the dispatch centers: would the alerts be technically well received and processed? 

Phase 3: migrate data of all HartslagNu AEDs to the new technical application. 

Phase 4: migrate data of all HartslagNu citizen responders to the new technical application (in batches). 

Every time the data of a citizen responder account was migrated, an automatically generated email was immediately send to its owner with a request to reactivate the account within the new technical alert application in order to use the new dashboard and install the new app. The reactivation of the accounts also served as an opt-in for citizen responders to be alerted by the new national alert system. Citizen responders had to complete the reactivation of their account in the new system within two weeks after receiving the automatically generated email.

Phase 5: transfer all Dutch dispatch centers to the new alert system.

Phase 6: switch off the old technical application, after which alerts are only processed and sent by the new alert system. 

3. The results

That good preparation is half the battle also became clear in this project. We have carefully performed the preparation steps, to prevent subsequent errors or delays.

After phase 2 we almost immediately noticed that the updating process of the dispatch centers had been successful. The alerts were technically well received and processed. For some dispatch centers this even resulted in an overall increase in alerts compared to before, because the Stan technology alerts fully automatically. As a result of this, indeed no manual action is required from an operator and the chance of errors is reduced. 

After phase 4 it had to become clear if the data migration had been successful, because 130,000 citizen responders received an email with an activation link in a short time and actually had to reactivate their account. The result was that 97.7% of the accounts had been successfully migrated.

We also saw that accounts were frequently reactivated. The total number of citizen responders was already 185,000 shortly after the migration and is still increasing.