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Emergency Treatment Strategies, Better Communication Among Health Care Workers Reduce Heart Attack Patient Deaths by 19 Percent, Says AHJ Published Study
Date:2/10/2009

ough hospitalization including discharge medications and follow-up."

The prospective study demonstrated that patients received better care for acute coronary syndrome, including fewer days in the hospital and more medically appropriate use of medication, when the ACSETS critical care pathway was used. The control group was made up of patients who had been treated at the four hospitals before ACSETS was implemented.

"Previous work has established that hospitals adhering to certain performance measures in treating patients with heart attack had lower mortality," said Corbelli. "We wanted to know if we could improve the mortality rates of these patients by developing a new approach -- or a new critical pathway -- to better assist medical staff in putting these published guidelines into practice."

Within the first 24 hours after arrival in the emergency department, at discharge and during 12 months following discharge, more ACSETS patients than pre-ACSETS patients received all eight guideline-based acute coronary syndrome treatment medications studied.

"Post discharge readmission and mortality has been shown to be a major issue in managing patients with ACS," said Mark Cziraky, study co-author and HealthCore vice president of research development and operations. "The fact that the mortality rate is lower one year after discharge in ACS patients demonstrates that they continued their therapy after leaving the hospital."

At discharge, ACSETS patients had their medications reviewed so that the appropriate drug therapies were prescribed. Patients were educated to understand the impact of their medications and the importance of compliance with the prescribed regimen. Study authors also met with local managed care groups to ensure that the design of their health plans allowed ACSETS patients easy access to cardiac therapies.

While the study showed no difference in in-pati
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SOURCE HealthCore
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