LiveWell Blog

Emergency Team, Wayne County EMS Collaborate to Achieve 0-Minute Median Door to EKG Rate

When a patient is having a heart attack, every minute counts. In the third quarter, our Emergency Team collaborated closely with Wayne County Emergency Medical Services to achieve a 0-minute median door to electrocardiogram (EKG) rate.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) establishes quality standards for the median time it takes for hospitals across the country to conduct an EKG to confirm a patient is having a heart attack.

These EKG results not only confirm a heart attack. They also empower our Emergency Room physicians to diagnose and deliver quality care to our patients. Because these EKGs are such an important part of directing patient care, CMS rules allow hospitals to credit EKGs performed prior to a patient’s arrival to the ER in its median requirements.

“Wayne County EMS is skilled at recognizing the symptoms of heart attack in the field,” said Angie Dunn, Performance Improvement Analyst. “They obtain an EKG in the field and then radio in to our ER. Through coordination of care and teamwork, our team has been able to improve patient outcomes.”

“The Wayne County EMS does a phenomenal job, providing quality care for patients prior to arrival and getting them to the ED quickly,” said Angie. “It is very important to get a heart attack victim to the hospital quickly so that time sensitive medication (fibrinolytic therapy) and/or cardiac intervention can be initiated, if indicated.”

In February, Angie attended the EMS staff meetings to share the good news and thank the team for the excellent care they provide in Wayne County.

Meanwhile, as we continue to work on our CMS measures for heart attack, we are also making plans to further develop our Cardiology service line. This service line is one of four service lines identified as an area of focus during our strategic planning process, as part of our continuous effort to improve the standard of care we deliver in our community.