Memorial Hospital is celebrating 365 days of meeting the national guideline for excellence in cardiac care of 90 minutes from the time a patient suffering a heart attack enters the emergency room to the time they receive a cardiac intervention. “The real winner is the patient," says Dr. Eric Conn, a cardiologist with The Chattanooga Heart Institute at Memorial.
“For the patient, this time frame equates to improved survival and a reduced chance of serious complications such as heart rhythm problems and congestive heart failure. Few hospitals are able to consistently meet this guideline so patients who come into our emergency department have the advantage of being treated in a cardiac program that provides a level of excellence not seen in most hospitals.”
The 90 minute guideline was put forth by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association and is considered a core measure of excellence for the treatment of an acute myocardial infarction, a severe type of heart attack. Jodie Thompson, coordinator of Memorial’s STEMI program, says, “There has been a tremendous effort in the last year by the emergency room staff, the interventional cardiologists, the staff in the catheterization lab, and EMSto make the process as efficient as possible at every level of service. It takes continuous monitoring at every step to meet this goal.”
Not only has Memorial achieved the 90 minute benchmark but their mean time for the 2012 calendar year to date is 46 minutes. “Both the 46 minute mean time and the 100% success in meeting the 90 minute goal are remarkable achievements,” said Dr. Conn. “We’re proud of the collaboration between Chattanooga’s EMS services and the efforts of the hospital team to reach this milestone. This underscores the need for people to call 911 if they feel they’re having a heart attack rather than being driven to the hospital. Emergency workers can start an assessment and transmit an EKG to the emergency room while in route so that staff is already aware of the patient’s condition and ready to start treatment immediately.”