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Northwestern Medicine researchers work to improve heart attack response time
Date:4/29/2013

cant improvements in door-to-balloon times. "Our door-to-balloon times decreased by an average of 20 minutes," said Khare. "We saw the most significant and sustained benefits during off hours, which include overnights and weekends. Door-to-balloon times improved by 25 percent. What's truly amazing is that the 15 to 20 minute improvement in door-to-balloon time will decrease the overall death rates of these patients."

A benefit of the FMECA approach is that it brings together all members of the care team, which lead to enhanced communication and understanding of the different roles that each clinician plays in the patient care. Emergency department and cath lab staff were oriented and educated about the roles and responsibilities of the other members of the care team, which they may not have been exposed to previously.

"This research is an excellent example of the team work and quality improvement initiatives that occur at Northwestern Memorial to assure our patients are receiving the best care possible," said Mark J. Ricciardi, MD, director of cardiac catheterization and interventional cardiology at Northwestern Memorial and associate professor of cardiology at the Feinberg School. "With the emergency department and cardiac catheterization teams working together to identify areas for improvement, we now consistently achieve door-to-balloon times that far exceed the national benchmarks for heart attack care."

Khare's goal is for the work done at Northwestern Memorial to serve as a model for hospitals across the country as they seek to implement change and improve care for heart attack patients.

"While every institution is unique, this performance improvement model can be applied at other academic and community hospitals, to identify their own vulnerabilities and potential failures in door-to-balloon time systems and processes of care," explained Khare. "We're also hopeful that this approach can be applied when responding to oth
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Contact: Megan McCann
memccann@nmh.org
312-926-5900
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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