BACKGROUND: Delay in treatment of patients with ST-elevation acute myocardial infarction (STEMI) has an adverse effect on patient outcomes. Limited data are available on the effectiveness of hospital care improvement strategies (HCIS) to reduce time to reperfusion by percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). This study evaluated the combined effect of HCIS implementation to reduce door-to-balloon time in patients with STEMI. METHODS: Retrospective chart review was done for 95 consecutive patients with STEMI who underwent PCI at Charleston Area Medical Center. Patients with non-STEMI and patients transferred from other medical centers were excluded. Door-to-balloon time was defined as time from emergency department arrival to first PCI balloon inflation. A program of 3 HCIS was implemented: 1) a fast-track catheterization laboratory protocol, 2) feedback to cardiologists on their treatment times, and 3) a weekday 24-hour inhouse catheterization laboratory team. Patients were separated into groups before (n = 46), during (n = 18), and after (n = 31) HCIS implementation. RESULTS: Mean age was 60.3 ± 13 years and 74% were male. The majority (64%) arrived by ambulance; 29% had a prehospital electrocardiogram done. Most patients presented during the day (68%) on weekdays (75%). Symptom onset-to-door time was 289 ± 393 minutes. No significant differences were found between the groups for these variables. Door-to-PCI time in minutes was reduced in the group after versus the group before HCIS implementation (94.3 ± 37 vs 133.5 ± 53; P < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: Implementation of HCIS shortened door-to-PCI time for patients with STEMI by 39.2 ± 10 minutes. Thus, HCIS may be effective in improving patient outcomes.

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Critical Pathways in Cardiology: a journal of evidence-based medicine
Department of Cardiology

Lipton, J.A, Broce, M, Lucas, D, Mimnagh, K, Matthews, A, Reyes, F, … Warren, S.G. (2006). Comprehensive hospital care improvement strategies reduce time to treatment in ST-elevation acute myocardial infarction. Critical Pathways in Cardiology: a journal of evidence-based medicine (Vol. 5, pp. 29–33). doi:10.1097/01.hpc.0000202248.77279.69