2011-08-25 / Local & State

Local Emergency Responders Launch New System

Web-based LIFENETĀ® system utilizes emergent patient data to help reduce time to treatment in Fulton County

Fulton County emergency responders announced last week they have launched a new system to help improve heart attack patient outcomes. The LIFENET System, from Physio-Control Inc., is the first Web-based data network of its kind, offering emergency medical services (EMS) and hospital teams tools to work together to help improve clinical and operational efficiencies. Their use of LIFENET System has the goal of reducing time to treatment, known as doorto balloon time (D2B), for patients in Fulton County who experience a dangerous type of heart attack known as STEMI (ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction).

STEMI poses a serious threat to the heart muscle and can result in death or serious disability for the patient. The more quickly patients receive treatment, which may include balloon angioplasty and stent placement in the cardiac catheterization (cath) lab, the more likely they are to have a positive outcome. D2B time refers to the interval from patient arrival at the hospital to inflation of the balloon catheter within the patient’s blocked artery – the shorter the D2B time, the greater the chance of survival.

About the LIFENET system

LIFENET System is a state-of-the-art, easy-to-use system designed to connect EMS teams and hospital personnel with emergent patient data, and to help increase workflow so that a patient can receive treatment as quickly as possible. LIFENET enables paramedics in the field to alert hospital care teams and provide them with critical patient data so they can quickly identify STEMI patients, determine where to route them for care, and have staff prepared before the patient arrives, reducing time to treatment. This is all securely managed by a Web-based system administered by Physio-Control.

EMS crews in the field use a cardiac monitor/ defibrillator to obtain a 12-lead ECG, whether from a LIFEPAKĀ® 12, 15 or third party device. The ECG report is then securely transmitted over the Internet. Hospital teams are alerted to incoming information, are able to view the patient data and share with other care teams, and engage remote clinicians for decision support through a dedicated iPhone application. The ease of communication throughout the care team helps save critical time, especially important when cath lab activation is indicated.

LIFENET System allows paramedics, physicians and nurses to focus on treatment decisions and patient care while the system works quietly in the background, both in the field and in the hospital emergency department or cath lab. LIFENET is helping communities elevate heart attack care to a whole new level by enabling them to set up systems of care for reducing time to treatment for STEMI patients.

More about STEMI

The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that close to 400,000 people in the U.S. experience STEMI every year. Studies show that when D2B time is 90 minutes or less, patient outcomes significantly improve, and hospital stays are shorter (Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2006).

The use of pre-hospital 12-lead ECGs plays a key part in reducing D2B times (Critical Pathways in Cardiology, 2007). The 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care emphasize the importance of a well-organized approach to STEMI care to activate rapid access to reperfusion therapy.

A 90-minute D2B time has become a core quality measure for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards, and in many states, a condition of licensure and receipt of Medicaid reimbursement.

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