Coordination between emergency departments at outlying hospitals and the West Tennessee Heart and Vascular Center team at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital helped to earn our Chest Pain Center the highest level of accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care.
To maintain a high level of coordinated care, West Tennessee Heart and Vascular Center coordinates with emergency responders to conduct surprise drills, known as STEMI Drills (Heart Attack Drills) that start at affiliate emergency departments.
On March 21, 2014, Milan General Hospital participated in a STEMI Drill with West Tennessee Heart and Vascular Center at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.
The purpose of the drill was to evaluate the process and guidelines of what happens when a patient comes to Milan General Hospital having a heart attack. These STEMI Drills are chosen randomly through different locations and scenarios throughout West Tennessee by WTHVC, Medical Center EMS and Air Evac Lifeteam.
These drills help to showcase the wonderful teamwork and processes each facility has, in order to get the patient the best care needed for the Heart Attack, as well as to evaluate for any changes needed in those processes.
Milan General Hospital’s first choice of treatment for any patient having a heart attack is to transfer that patient as quickly as possible to the closest STEMI/PCI receiving facility, JMCGH, in order to stop the heart attack and save heart muscle.
According to the latest 2013 Guidelines by American Heart Association for the Management of STEMI, when transferring a patient for treatment of heart attack, the time should be less than 120 minutes from the ED arrival at transferring facility to placement of the stent/balloon in the heart artery at the receiving facility. This is the total time it should take to stop a heart attack when transferring between hospitals for treatment. The goal in this is to work together to decrease time and reduce death by improving patient outcomes and improving overall quality of care for these patients.
The mock drill began when a fake patient and his wife walked into Milan General’s emergency room unexpectedly at 9:59 a.m. with complaints of chest pain. Even though the staff there was caught off guard, it did not slow them down. Within a few short minutes, the ED staff had recognized his symptoms, completed an EKG to diagnose the heart attack, contacted JMCGH for transfer, as well as called in for Air Evac Lifeteam to assist in getting the patient to Jackson quicker.
Milan General’s ED Physician, Dr. Howard worked with Jackson’s Interventional Cardiologist and ED Physician, Dr. Shah and Dr. Norsworthy, to be sure the patient received the appropriate treatment. Because of the great communication between facilities, the patient actually bypassed Jackson’s ED and went straight into the Catheterization Lab. Milan General’s ED staff, nurses, and physicians knew exactly what to do, all the while giving him excellent, patient-focused care!
The total transfer time was 98 minutes, well under the national standard — 120 minutes.
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