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A Comparison of AED Sales and Subscriptions for Organizations

The decision to equip your organization with automated external defibrillators (AEDs) isn't as simple as it may appear. Safety leaders face two distinct pathways: purchasing AEDs outright or signing up for an AED subscription service. 

Buying AEDs might seem straightforward since the perception is that you just buy them and hang them on the wall. It's actually a more complex process than that and involves many nuances and long-term commitments. On the other hand, AED subscriptions bring peace of mind because they include the unparalleled support of an AED readiness partner who handles all aspects of AED management. 

Explore the critical factors organizations must consider when choosing between AED sales and subscription models.

Buying AEDs for Your Organization

Let’s illustrate the process and responsibilities involved when organizations buy and manage their own AEDs.

The Process of Buying AEDs

Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are crucial, life-saving devices. Buying these Class III medical devices for your organization comes with a substantial checklist:

  • Medical Authorization: You must first attain a physician's note to prescribe AEDs for your organization.
  • Placement: Based on your facility’s layout and organization type, you need to determine the right number of AEDs needed, plus where to put them.
  • Ordering: AEDs require wall cases, accessories, and servicing.
  • Setup and Registration: You’ll need to prepare, install, configure, and officially register defibrillators for use.
  • Staff Training: You must follow legal training requirements to prepare your staff to use an AED during an emergency.
  • Expiration Tracking: Pads and batteries expire on a regular schedule, while the unit itself becomes obsolete after a certain period of time.
  • Continual Monitoring: The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sometimes issues recalls that you must implement.

Long-Term Responsibilities of AED Ownership

A staggering 85% of organizations find themselves unprepared for cardiac emergencies after three years of self-managed AED programs. This is because ongoing manual AED maintenance is much harder than safety leaders and EHS managers initially think. However, the consequences of not staying current on AED management are catastrophic—lives are at stake.

The American Heart Association (AHA) provides guidelines for a comprehensive AED management program that includes direction on everything from replacements to CPR/AED training. Part of what makes in-house AED management so difficult is staying compliant. Your team must be agile enough to adhere to regulations as they change. There are FDA recalls, software updates, and updates to federal, state, and local AED regulations that you need to follow. While you may offer a one-time CPR/AED training for your staff, do you have a means to track certifications? Certifications expire and trained staff leave. If you do correctly track pad and accessory expirations, AED manufacturers are difficult to reach on the phone and regularly face supply chain challenges. Their non-responsiveness may compromise your organization’s safety. 

Getting AEDs Through a Subscription Service

Unlike buying AEDs, if you sign up for an AED subscription, an AED readiness partner does everything on your behalf! You can lean on their expertise while they set up a comprehensive AED management program from start to finish.

The Process of AED Subscriptions

Here’s how an AED subscription works:

  • Facility Walkthrough: Just provide a virtual walkthrough of your facility via phone and the AED readiness partner will determine optimal defibrillator quantity and placement.
  • Third-Party Setup: The AED readiness partner coordinates AED delivery to your site, setup, initialization, and registration.
  • Automated Reminders: Monthly reminders to manually check the AEDs are sent directly to your AED Coordinator.
  • Remote Monitoring: Wireless AEDs enable 24/7 remote monitoring so the AED readiness partner can verify device readiness at any time.
  • On-Demand Maintenance: Whenever a pad, battery, or defibrillator unit expires, the AED readiness partner will ship replacements to your doorstep at no extra cost.
  • Training Included: The AED readiness partner is a one-stop shop for all your AED needs, offering world-class CPR/AED training plus certification tracking.

Long-Term AED Subscription Considerations

Opting for a long-term automated external defibrillator (AED) subscription can provide numerous advantages for businesses and organizations. With a subscription, internal safety staff can save time and effort by entrusting the monitoring of devices to AED readiness partners. This arrangement eliminates the headaches associated with defibrillator maintenance, such as FDA software updates, regulatory changes, and repairs. The AED readiness partner will ensure your AEDs are always in optimal working condition without requiring constant oversight from your safety team. 

Moreover, AED readiness partners are readily accessible by phone and can meet all of your AED needs in one place. They perform their CPR/AED training using your specific defibrillator model, include practical scenario demos, and provide more frequent sessions than other providers so the training stays top of mind. You never need to worry about whether your organization complies with AED laws. An AED readiness partner’s oversight is so comprehensive that they offer a multi-million dollar insurance policy to support it.

AED subscriptions also offer cost benefits to organizations compared to buying AEDs. Buying AEDs involves a significant upfront investment since a single defibrillator price tag is over a thousand dollars, not to mention the hundreds of dollars that accessory replacements cost. Subscriptions provide one predictable monthly price without a large initial capital expense. Plus, because the subscriptions use wireless AEDs, the entire AED program is efficiently scalable as your organization’s needs evolve. 

Buying AEDs vs. Using a Subscription

When you weigh the options side by side, the benefits of AED subscriptions greatly outweigh buying and managing them in-house. These are the five main areas where AED subscriptions excel:

  • More Cost-Effective: The one monthly price of a subscription is a better value than buying AEDs considering that it includes third-party monitoring, training, replacements, and more.
  • More Comprehensive: AED subscriptions provide streamlined maintenance, training, support, and liability coverage under a single, expertly managed service compared to an organization simply buying AEDs.
  • More Compliant: Learning, proactively checking, and fulfilling changing regulatory AED requirements can be time-consuming, but a subscription ensures you’re always compliant.
  • More Turnkey: When you buy AEDs, your team has to coordinate purchase, training, monitoring, and maintenance versus having all of that done for you with a subscription.
  • More Efficient: Safety leaders have enough on their plates and outsourcing AED management keeps them free to focus on their other pressing initiatives.

Sign Up for a Premedics AED Subscription

Signing up for a Premedics AED subscription offers unparalleled benefits for organizations of all sizes and industries. Established by a paramedic in 1998, Premedics pioneered the AED management space and continues to lead the industry with its innovative subscription services. Whether you're in healthcare, education, hospitality, or any other sector, Premedics serves all industries with tailored solutions that keep you compliant and ready. We even offer a legacy buyback program so you have access to the latest wireless AED technology from the leading brands.

By considering the different methods of getting AEDs, organizations can make informed decisions about implementing sustainable and effective AED management programs. Ensure the safety of your employees while streamlining operational processes by using an AED subscription. Request a consultation with Premedics today to discuss your organization's unique AED requirements. Our team of experts is dedicated to helping you implement a comprehensive AED solution that prioritizes safety and preparedness.