CARES Annual Report 2017 | 5 Introduction Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is a significant public health issue and leading cause of death in the United States. More than 200,000 patients each year will have resuscitation attempted after an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, but only 10% will survive to hospital discharge. Cardiac arrest resuscitation is an important measure of a community’s emergency response readiness. Successful resuscitation requires involvement by a range of individuals including bystanders, emergency medical dispatchers, first responders, paramedics, and hospital providers. Measurement is key to improving quality of care and patient outcomes. In 2015, the Institute of Medicine released “Strategies to Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival: A Time to Act,” which recommended the establishment of a national cardiac arrest registry to monitor performance in terms of both success and failure, identify problems, and track progress 1 . The Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES) allows communities to benchmark their performance with local, state, or national metrics to better identify opportunities to improve their OHCA care. CARES offers a comprehensive understanding of where arrests are occurring, whether bystanders are providing intervention prior to EMS arrival, EMS and hospital performance, and patient outcomes. This in turn provides the data necessary to make informed decisions and allocate limited resources for maximal community benefit. By creating an easy-to-use and flexible system to collect OHCA data and forming a community to share best practices, CARES has transformed the way EMS agencies are treating cardiac arrest. Participating agencies are able to make decisions in their community based on real-time feedback and analysis, in order to increase survival. We sincerely appreciate the members of the EMS and hospital CARES communities, as well as the sponsors (American Red Cross, American Heart Association, The Heart Rescue Project, Stryker) who support our mission to save lives and improve patient care. We are pleased to present the 2017 Annual Report.