CPR Blog

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American Heart Association eCards

In October 2014 the American Heart Association launched its version of electronic certification cards or eCards. Per the AHA, eCards will be available to all training providers by March 2015. While not yet fully replacing the decades old paper card system, the new American Heart Association eCard system will gradually replace paper cards and will widely be adopted by the end of 2018.

So what you ask? Well, change is harder for some than others and the American Heart Association's support process is not all that responsive under their new platform. In light of our experience with eCards, this article will review some aspects of the AHA's new eCard system.

What are the benefits of using AHA eCards?

Some of the benefits are higher security, reduction in fake cards, and added efficiency. The main advantages for AHA eCards are gained by the end user (i.e. the learner) and employers. But new challenges have surfaced as well which impact the learner.

Learners will no longer lose their card. If the washing machine eats it, learners can just print out a new one. In fact learners can print as many copies as they like, at any time of the day.

Employers may also like the fact that they can verify a CPR certification through the American Heart's My Card website. (Secretly we think credentialing departments just increased their productivity because they will no longer have to track down cards.)

AHA eCard Process

AHA eCard Disadvantages


The main AHA vendors note that eCards are seamless, simple, save money, and secure. While eCards offer a huge security advantage (no more fake AHA cards), eCards fail to offer training providers a seamless, simple, and cost savings option.

So what you say? I could care less if the training provider has to do more work, that's what I paid them for when I took my CPR, ACLS, PALS class. Well in the end the costs (and frustration) of a poorly developed system find their way into the learner's pocket.

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage is wrapped up in the idea that change is hard. For many learners they are accustomed to getting their card at the end of a class or in the mail. In short the learner really did not own any part of "getting their card", instead the training provider printed the card. In the new AHA My Card system the learner is now the only person who can print their card.

There's no doubt the AHA will aggressively move towards abolishing their old paper CPR card system. But our experience shows this change will impact both the training provider and the learner in both negative and positive ways. In short learns will own the card making process while training providers will own a new customer service headache. 

What is an eCard?

This is a very common question we get. The AHA eCard is the electronic equivalent of a printed American Heart Association course completion card and can be provided to students as an alternative to a printed card. eCards are valid course completion cards and can be presented to employers as proof of successful completion of an AHA course. Like printed cards, eCards also expire two years from the issue date. 

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