Memorial Regional Hospital developed Code Heart to streamline cardiac care for heart attack patients requiring PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) through the collaborative efforts of physicians, nurses, emergency medical technicians and other team members. Code Heart has set out to eliminate redundancy in treating heart attack patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) so patients receive care as quickly and efficiently as possible. The goal of Code Heart is to ensure that door-to-balloon time for heart attack patients is 90 minutes or less. Changes in the emergency department (ED) processes include:
- “Code Heart” is immediately paged throughout the ED and cardiac catheterization lab (CCL) if the patient’s EKG shows myocardial infarction.
- ED staff can activate ‘Code Heart’ without speaking to the interventional cardiologist.
- Once ‘Code Heart’ is called, ED charge nurses and staff immediately go to the patient to facilitate transfer to the CCL.
- A ‘Code Heart Medication Kit’ was created so that all needed medications are packaged together and stored in a central place.
- The ED team transfers the patient to the CCL, rather than having CCL staff call the ED when they are ready to receive the patient.