CARES: Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival

Each year, approximately 350,000 persons in the United States experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) or sudden death; approximately 90% of persons who experience an OHCA, die. Despite decades of research, median reported survival rates to hospital discharge are poor (10.4%) and have remained virtually unchanged for the past 30 years.

CARES accepts standardized NEMSIS 3.5.0 XML to allow for a uniform and reliable data collection method for OHCA events. CARES then pairs these 911 EMS events with hospital outcomes to enable communities to benchmark patient populations, interventions, and outcomes with the goal of identifying opportunities to improve the quality of care and ascertain whether resuscitation is provided according to evidence-based guidelines. This allows communities to measure the effectiveness of their response systems and assess the impact of interventions designed to improve and increase OHCA survival across the US.

CARES seeks to:

  • Save more lives from OHCA
  • Strengthen collaboration between 911 centers, first responders, emergency medical services (EMS) agencies and hospitals.
  • Provide a simple, confidential process for assessing patient outcomes in compliance with HIPAA.
  • Offer technical assistance to help community leaders identify and prioritize opportunities to improve EMS performance.
  • Generate annual national and statewide reports for benchmarking capability.

Support Materials


With NEMSIS 3.5.0, CARES has streamlined alignment with NEMSIS to aid the adoption of CARES in State and Vendor systems. All systems submitting CARES records should utilize the CARES “Required Elements” Schematron below. More details on the NEMSIS 3.5.0 elements CARES collects are available in the 3.5.0 XML Data Dictionary, and additional details and validation for supplemental elements are available on the CARES Vendor Resources page.

This set of rules is ideal for state adoption and is the required baseline for vendor integration. This Schematron includes only Required elements in CARES, and all rules have the context to be adopted by States and run alongside other incident types. Recent changes for the Schematron file can be found in the  XML Change Log.

CARES EMS Data Integration Contact

Frank Sloan
Associate Director, Data Integration