Duke University Medical Center

North Carolina's RACE System

The mission of North Carolina’s RACE system is to regionalize cardiac care for heart attack patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) throughout the state’s acute care facilities.

RACE, an acronym for Reperfusion of Acute Myocardial Infarction in Carolina Emergency Departments, aims to standardize the triage and transfer of STEMI patients much like emergency medical systems across the country handle the triage and transfer of trauma patients.

RACE has set out to increase the frequency and speed of coronary reperfusion for heart attack patients by coordinating cardiac care between multiple stakeholders.

These stakeholders include hospitals that perform percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), non-PCI hospitals, emergency medical services (EMS) and critical care transport teams. The goal of RACE is to manage the rapid transfer of STEMI patients from the emergency departments (ED) of non-PCI hospitals to those facilities with catheterization labs. RACE has also helped set up protocols for non-PCI hospitals when transfers are not possible.