Time is Heart

When it comes to life saving measures, Divine Savior Healthcare Emergency Medical Services EMS and Emergency Room ER staff are setting gold standards. Partnering with UW Health, St. Mary’s, and UnityPoint Health – Meriter, the Divine Savior EMS and ER have become a trusted emergency response team for the surrounding communities. The team was quick to learn that their response times have been beating the standard response times when it came to ST segment elevation myocardial infarction STEMI  patients patients having a heart attack and patients going into cardiogenic shock patients with significant heart damage, when the heart is unable pump blood effectively to meet the body’s demands.

http://www.dshealthcare.com/sites/dshealthcare.com/assets/images/News-Events/IMG_3413.JPG Divine Savior Healthcare educators 
and paramedics demonstrate hands-only
CPR during Heart Health Day at
Divine Savior on September 8th, 2016.

Dr. Amish Raval, Medical Director for UW Health Regional ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction Program stated, “You are one of the regional hospitals setting the gold standard.”

In an interview with the Divine Savior Healthcare Emergency Services Director, David Spannagel and EMS Supervisor, Cody Doucette, they both agreed it’s all about time. “Time is life and time is heart,” they stated.

Divine Savior Healthcare feels very fortunate to have professionals on staff who are trained and equipped to help patients who are suffering from STEMI or cardiogenic shock. Whether it be a 9-1-1 call or a patient walking into the ER, the team can administer, diagnose, and treat a patient, all while in route to UW, St. Mary’s or UnityPoint Health – Meriter Hospital. There are specific protocols when it comes to caring for patients with these cardiac concerns and because of the partnerships and trust Divine Savior has built with the three receiving hospitals, staff at Divine Savior is able to communicate with cardiologists and transfer data directly to them to make the transport as smooth as possible.

As Spannagel explains, “We call it right. Our false activations are very low and the trust we have built allows us to contact the cardiologist earlier to get the transfer process going right away.”

In addition to the patients cared for at Divine Savior Healthcare, the Divine Savior EMS staff provides paramedic level services to many of the outlying services that are not equipped to provide treatment. Divine Savior has become known as the go-to facility to aid in the transportation of a patient to the appropriate level hospital. They help outlying services get EKG intercepts sooner and help keep response times down. Doucette said because of the efficiency of being able to respond to a patient, stabilize, and administer medications, all while in route to another hospital, Divine Savior’s ambulance is a safe and sometimes unbeatable way to transport patients.

When breaking down response times and numbers, the benchmark for a standard EKG hookup is 10 minutes. Divine Savior Healthcare’s average is 4 minutes. From the time a patient first see’s medical contact to the time they are at a cardiac catheterization lab, connected to a device and being cleared, the standard benchmark is 120 minutes. Divine Savior Healthcare’s average is 104 minutes.

These times say a lot about the priority Divine Savior Healthcare makes for each patient, making each response time count, and making sure each person is receiving extraordinary care. As Spannagel and Doucette share, “It all starts by being taken care of from the beginning and working with a great team at Divine Savior. It’s not just the EMS and ER that are making a difference, it’s respiratory therapists, doctors, nurses, registration, health unit coordinators, lab, radiology, to name a few. Everyone has a part in saving a life.”

These efforts don’t go unnoticed, as Amy Shepard, UW STEMI/Shock Program Manager noted, “Your organization’s dedication to quality care and outcomes is apparent and is something to be proud of.” 

Earlier this year, Divine Savior EMS and ER teams had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Amish Raval and Amy Shepard to learn what’s new with the UW Health Acute Care Cardiology program and how they’re looking at ways to create new programs to improve cardiogenic shock treatment. Both teams are very excited about the partnership and working together to continuously improve measures that help save lives and impacting patients in a positive way.

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