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Health in GeneralLafayette General Medical Center’s Pocket EKG Screenings: Promoting Cardiovascular Disease Detection while Building Physician Relations

Daryl J. Cetnar, Director of Community Relations, Lafayette General Medical Center

Charlotte Beadles, Physician Relations Specialist, Lafayette General Medical Center

Lori Keledjian, Clinical Marketing Specialist, Cardiomark LLC

Lafayette General Medical Center (LGMC)LafayetteGeneral.com enrolled in the Pocket EKG Service in January 2012.  LGMC’s main goal was to promote cardiovascular health to the community, continue to enhance the Lafayette General brand within its market and build physician relations with local cardiologists and primary care physicians.  Charlotte Beadles, Physician Relations Specialist, negotiated market exclusivity with Cardiomark, Cardiomarkllc.com a cardiology marketing service, to differentiate her organization from competitors by providing Pocket EKG Screenings to the community.

At the April 25, 2012 screening, one participant’s heart issue was diagnosed as a direct result of the screening. The participant had an abnormal EKG reading and as such, consulted with a cardiologist on the spot. The participant followed up with further testing that revealed an abnormal cardiolyte stress test and then an abnormal cardiac catheterization.  The patient underwent cardiac bypass on May 14, 2012 and is recuperating nicely.

“The patient had no symptoms. He exercised and never had any chest pain, but we
 uncovered 100 percent blockage, putting him at great risk of a heart attack.”

John Patterson, M.D.
Interventional Cardiologist at Cardiovascular Institute of the South (CIS)
(LGMC cardiology partner)

As of May 31, 2012, LGMC  has performed 211 free screenings and, of those screened, 48 participants had an abnormal EKG reading.  Seventeen of these participants had no cardiologist and made immediate follow up appointments for further testing with a cardiologist affiliated with LGMC.

The details of Lafayette General Medical Center’s screening process follows:

Lafayette Pocket EKG CardWhat is Pocket EKG?

The Pocket EKG is a personal wallet-sized medical identification card that provides essential emergency information and cardiac history on one side, and the patient’s actual baseline 12-Lead EKG on the other. The hospital name and logo along with both the primary care physician and cardiologist are all highlighted on the card front to build medical care alliances.


Lafayette General’s Pocket EKG Screening Details/New Patient Referral System  Top

  • Screenings offered monthly

  • Free to the community

  • Pocket EKG Card $18 per person (this money comes from the marketing budget)

  • Tests included--Baseline EKG and Pocket EKG Card

  • Personnel to run the screening:  6 EKG machines, 6 EKG technicians, 2-3 cardiologists interpreting the EKG’s, 2 staff members registering the participants, 2 staff members calling patients back (With this staff, 105 participants can be screened in 3.5 hours)

  • Cardiologists interpret EKG’s as the participants are screened

  • Participants with an abnormal EKG immediately consult with a cardiologist and make appointment for follow up and further testing

  • Post screening, a letter along with the screening participant’s EKG is hand delivered by the physician relations specialist to each participant’s primary care physician, creating an opportunity for the hospital to foster relationships with those physicians Click to view sample 

LGMC’s Promotion Campaign for Free Pocket EKG Screenings

  • Free 1-month Wellness membership

  • Letter sent from hospital to the primary care physicians announcing this new service offered by the hospital and stating that the primary care physician will be highlighted on the front of the Pocket EKG Card by name and number Click to view sample.

  • Posters and Flyers including an article written by a Cardiovascular Institute of the South cardiologist placed in physician offices around the hospital Click to view sample.

  • Newspaper Ad Click to view sample

  • Radio Spots

  • Billboard Click to view sample

  • Advertised at community events (Go Red for Women Luncheon, Heart Starter CPR training, etc.)

LGMC’s Pocket EKG Screening Results


"I was anxious to receive an EKG screening and excited for the arrival of the Pocket EKG card.  It's very comforting to know that my baseline EKG is always with me."

Patient from LGMC's February Heart Fair

Primary Care Physicians—

“Our local physicians see the value we are providing to our community. The program has helped us save lives.  By carrying a Pocket EKG card, your health care provider will have a baseline to compare.”

Carolyn Huval, LGMC V.P. of Marketing & Business DevelopmentTop


“We are very pleased with this service and see it as a win-win for all involved. All the participants receive the Pocket EKG Card that is an excellent baseline reference; the patients with abnormal readings are encouraged to follow up for further testing; and we receive new patient referrals.”

Christopher Daniels, MD
Interventional Cardiologist at Cardiovascular Institute of the South


“The hospital is happy with the results from both the community and the physician perspective.  The Pocket EKG Service is a way to link all the healthcare providers together for the improvement of cardiac care in the community; it builds physician relations with both the cardiologists and primary care physicians and it provides a way for Lafayette General to differentiate itself from the competition.”

Daryl Cetnar, LGMC Director of Community Relations

About Lafayette General Medical Center

Lafayette General Medical Center, a 353 staffed bed facility, is the largest full-service, acute-care medical center in the nine-parish area of Acadiana.  LGMC provides families with comprehensive medical services at every level of care, from severe emergency trauma to the common cold.  Lafayette General evolved from Lafayette Sanitarium, a six-bed facility that opened in 1911, and has been a leader in health care throughout its existence. Over the years, LGMC has expanded its services and facilities to meet the community's growing needs.

Lafayette General Medical Center is recognized by federal and state tax laws as a 501c(3) not-for-profit corporation. Although the hospital generates money by billing for its health care services, it does not pay out any revenue to shareholders, as for-profits do. Any net revenue is reinvested into the organization for new equipment, facilities, and technology to better care for the people we serve.

As the region’s only community-owned and managed hospital, all decisions are made locally by an experienced administrative team and a volunteer Membership Corporation and Board of Trustees.  At LGMC, you can count on us to stay one step ahead of the changing face of health care.  For more information, visit www.LafayetteGeneral.com

About Cardiomark

Cardiomark is a cardiology marketing service that manufactures medical id cards for hospital, physician and cardiovascular specialists’ heart screening participants and patients. Our Pocket EKG and Pocket Angiogram medical identification cards, along with our cardiovascular business development services, build patient loyalty, patient recruitment, market share and physician referral networks to maximize ROI for your cardiovascular service line. Click here for a link to Cardiomark’s website: CardiomarkLLC.com/




"If I hadn't have been screened, my first sign of heart trouble would have killed me."

Paul M.
Pocket EKG screening participant who underwent successful triple bypass surgery as a result of the screening

"The Pocket EKG screening
service has been extremely
popular in our community.
It has helped us increase ROI
and build physician relations."

Brian York,
Marketing Consultant,

Sentara Healthcare
Client for Over 6 Years

"With the Pocket EKG Service
as our primary marketing
program, Pikes Peak Cardiology
has experienced a 42%
increase in new patient
appointments since 2005;
an average annual increase
of 7%, which is significant."

William Mantia, CEO,
Pikes Peak Cardiology, LLP

Client for Over 10 Years

"The card, which presents patients' baseline 12-lead ECG results on one side and vital patient information – blood type, cardiac conditions, allergies and medications – on the other, not only promotes practice loyalty, but boosts referrals."

Ronald Blonder, DO
Pikes Peak Cardiology, LLP
Client for Over 10 Years

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