Improving Use of Prehospital 12-Lead ECG for Early Identification and Treatment of Acute Coronary Syndrome and ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction

Center for Cardiovascular Health Services Research, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.
Circulation Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes (Impact Factor: 5.66). 05/2010; 3(3):316-23. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.109.895045
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Performance of prehospital ECGs expedites identification of ST-elevation myocardial infarction and reduces door-to-balloon times for patients receiving reperfusion therapy. To fully realize this benefit, emergency medical service performance must be measured and used in feedback reporting and quality improvement.
This quasi-experimental design trial tested an approach to improving emergency medical service prehospital ECGs using feedback reporting and quality improvement interventions in 2 cities' emergency medical service agencies and receiving hospitals. All patients age > or =30 years, calling 9-1-1 with possible acute coronary syndrome, were included. In total, 6994 patients were included: 1589 patients in the baseline period without feedback and 5405 in the intervention period when there were feedback reports and quality improvement interventions. Mean age was 66+/-17 years, and women represented 51%. Feedback and quality improvement increased prehospital ECG performance for patients with acute coronary syndrome from 76% to 93% (P=<0.0001) and for patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction from 77% to 99% (P=<0.0001). Aspirin administration increased from 75% to 82% (P=0.001), but the median total emergency medical service run time remained the same at 22 minutes. The proportion of patients with door-to-balloon times of < or =90 minutes increased from 27% to 67% (P=0.006).
Feedback reports and quality improvement improved prehospital ECG performance for patients with acute coronary syndrome and ST-elevation myocardial infarction and increased aspirin administration without prehospital transport delays. Improvements in door-to-balloon times were also seen.

9 Reads
  • Source
    • "A systematic review showed that strategies tailored to identified barriers are effective to improve professional practice [69]. For the emergency care setting, previous studies showed that strategies tailored to influencing factors improve adherence to guidelines and protocols for patients with asthma, acute coronary syndromes and ST-elevation myocardial infarction [35,70,71]. To monitor adherence and assess effectiveness of implementation strategies it is recommended that guidelines contain clinical indicators [72]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A gap between guidelines or protocols and clinical practice often exists, which may result in patients not receiving appropriate care. Therefore, the objectives of this systematic review were (1) to give an overview of professionals' adherence to (inter)national guidelines and protocols in the emergency medical dispatch, prehospital and emergency department (ED) settings, and (2) to explore which factors influencing adherence were described in studies reporting on adherence. PubMed (including MEDLINE), CINAHL, EMBASE and the Cochrane database for systematic reviews were systematically searched. Reference lists of included studies were also searched for eligible studies. Identified articles were screened on title, abstract and year of publication (>=1990) and were included when reporting on adherence in the eligible settings. Following the initial selection, articles were screened full text and included if they concerned adherence to a (inter)national guideline or protocol, and if the time interval between data collection and publication date was <10 years. Finally, articles were assessed on reporting quality. Each step was undertaken by two independent researchers. Thirty-five articles met the criteria, none of these addressed the emergency medical dispatch setting or protocols. Median adherence ranged from 7.8-95% in the prehospital setting, and from 0-98% in the ED setting. In the prehospital setting, recommendations on monitoring came with higher median adherence percentages than treatment recommendations. For both settings, cardiology treatment recommendations came with relatively low median adherence percentages. Eight studies identified patient and organisational factors influencing adherence. The results showed that professionals' adherence to (inter)national prehospital and emergency department guidelines shows a wide variation, while adherence in the emergency medical dispatch setting is not reported. As insight in influencing factors for adherence in the emergency care settings is minimal, future research should identify such factors to allow the development of strategies to improve adherence and thus improve quality of care.
    Scandinavian Journal of Trauma Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 02/2013; 21(1):9. DOI:10.1186/1757-7241-21-9 · 2.03 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Journal of the American College of Cardiology 10/2010; 56(15):1260-2. DOI:10.1016/j.jacc.2010.09.004 · 16.50 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) the pre-hospital phase is the most critical, as the administration of the most appropriate treatment in a timely manner is instrumental for mortality reduction. STEMI systems of care based on networks of medical institutions connected by an efficient emergency medical service are pivotal. The first steps are devoted to minimize the patient's delay in seeking care, rapidly dispatch a properly staffed and equipped ambulance to make the diagnosis on scene, deliver initial drug therapy and transport the patient to the most appropriate (not necessarily the closest) cardiac facility. Primary PCI is the treatment of choice, but thrombolysis followed by coronary angiography and possibly PCI is a valid alternative, according to patient's baseline risk, time from symptoms onset and primary PCI-related delay. Paramedics and nurses have an important role in pre-hospital STEMI care and their empowerment is essential to increase the effectiveness of the system. Strong cooperation between cardiologists and emergency medicine doctors is mandatory for optimal pre-hospital STEMI care. Scientific societies have an important role in guideline implementation as well as in developing quality indicators and performance measures; health care professionals must overcome existing barriers to optimal care together with political and administrative decision makers.
    Acute Cardiac Care 05/2011; 13(2):56-67. DOI:10.3109/17482941.2011.581292
Show more


9 Reads
Available from