Coordinated care reduces treatment time for fatal heart attacks
This has been the biggest nationwide demonstration project with the goal of decreasing the treatment time for patients with ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Positive results insinuate that a coordinated response can help countless patients receive life-saving treatments faster.
“In line with the fullest implementation of the project, we began to observe trends toward lower in-hospital mortality compared with national data toward the end of our measurement period,” Dr. James Jollis, study author and clinical professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina, said. “The long-term goal is to have this protocol in place for every STEMI patient who suffers a heart attack in the community. Ultimately, death from heart attack should become a rare event.”
Treatment times showed improvement when patients had EMS service take them straight to hospitals that offer the surgery that opens blocked heart arteries.
“This project shows it is possible to coordinate emergency cardiovascular systems and transform care in some of the largest U.S. cities, including New York, Houston and Atlanta,” Dr. Christopher Granger, study co-author and professor of medicine at Duke University, said. “This coordinated care between EMS and hospitals shortens emergency department times and correlates with lower mortality.”