The German Cardiac Society (Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Kardiologie: DGK) was part of a Task Force created in 2001 with 5 other countries and the ESC. The Task Force was formed to study the feasibility of creating, developing and implementing a cardiology membership card in Europe. The project was unanimously accepted in March 2003 by the 6 National Cardiac Society Boards and the ESC Board, for implementation by all National Cardiac Societies wishing to participate. A deadline was set for April 2004 at the annual meeting of the German Cardiac Society. A total of 26 National Cardiac Societies joined the first phase of the project and the second phase is ongoing.
In previous years, the DGK sent congress badges to members that were up-to-date with their membership fees; no registration system was available on-site for members and only a few registration desks for non-members or unpaid members.
Figures and statistics related to attendance of members vs. non-members or even on all participants were based on the number of plastic badge holders used by the attendees.
Therefore, the objective of DGK was to be able to print member congress badges thanks to the European Membership Card (EMC) through self-service desks. This project was extended to the possibility to also print the CME certificate with the Congress badge.
The DGK’s project promotion started in the Annual Report 2002 with a preliminary presentation of the possible applications and functions of such a card. The focused communication about the European Membership Card started after the ESC Congress 2003 with announcements, press articles, letters etc.
Beginning of February 2004, 5085 members of the DGK started to receive their European Membership Card together with the final congress programme and explanation of the use of this card at the DGK' annual meeting.
The DGK was therefore the first National Cardiac Society to implement, at the operational level, the European Membership Card.
The implementation was well organised and very effective. Around 50% of the DGK members (more than 2500) used the card for registration either at the self-service desks (more than 60% of them) or at the registration desks. 95% of the CME certificates were printed at the self-service desks.
The DGK made a major contribution throughout the development of the EMC. The DGK feedback (as well as that of their members) regarding added value of the EMC was very positive.
A full report of the DGK' European Membership Card experience is available here Full Report - 1st EMC Implementation.