Medical Oversight: What You Should Know

Are you familiar with the term medical oversight? It's an important part of your organization's AED program and something you should be aware of.

Medical oversight is physician supervision of any activity that involves a medical treatment. Since CPR and AED are medical treatments, a physician is needed to oversee planning and implementation of an AED program. He or she establishes policies, directs training and quality control activities.

Medical oversight helps ensure medical treatment is given in a way that follows safe practices. It is implemented in places like hospitals, clinics or organizations with an AED program. Some states require medical control for any AED program; other states require a signed prescription only. The American Heart Association advises that a medical director be involved whenever an AED is purchased and placed.

A medical director is an advisor for your organization's AED program and is responsible for:

• Writing a prescription for an AED
• Approving guidelines for use of an AED within your organization
• Overseeing training
• Evaluating post-event data including audio and EKGs from the AED

Your medical director is responsible for medical oversight for your organization’s AED program. He or she must ensure all responders are properly trained, develop an emergency response plans and conduct post-event reviews.