Baptist GT’s Ambulance Service Receives Heart Association Award

Mission Lifeline2

Baptist Memorial Hospital – Golden Triangle Paramedics Rusty McCrory, Lamar Thompson and Joe Wall bring a chest pain patient into the hospital’s emergency room. A 12-lead EKG on the ambulance allows the EMTs to transmit the patient’s heart rhythm to the ER physician and the cardiologist on call before ever arriving at the hospital with the patient.

COLUMBUS, Miss. (Press Release) — The Ambulance service at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver award. The service was one of three in the state recognized for how well it meets certain quality measures for the treatment of patients who suffer a severe heart attack known as a STEMI.

Every year almost 300,000 people experience a STEMI, a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it is critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication. In both cases, time is crucial, said Edwin Mitchell, Baptist Golden Triangle ambulance service director.

The EMS agencies that receive the Mission: Lifeline Silver award have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for 12 consecutive months and treated at least eight STEMI patients for that same time.

One quality improvement measure considered for the award said Mitchell is pre-hospital cardiac care, or the percentage of chest pain patients over the age of 35 who receive a 12-lead EKG before arriving at the hospital.

Baptist Golden Triangle’s ambulance service was the first in the Memphis, Tenn.-based Baptist Memorial Health Care system and the second in Mississippi to place 12-lead EKGs on all of its front line ambulances and transmit from the field.

According to Mitchell, a second quality measure considered is how quickly a patient suffering from chest pain with a blocked vessel has circulation restored. The national goal from first medical contact to device placement is less than 90 minutes. The average time for Baptist’s EMTs and cardiac team is currently 72 minutes.

As a part of the RescueNet program, a patient’s 12-lead EKG results can now be sent from the field to the ER physician at Baptist Golden who in turn can email those same test results to the cardiologist on call who can view this data on his smart phone or tablet, regardless of his location, said Mitchell. “For example, the cardiologist can be out to dinner and can read the patient’s EKG before he gets to the hospital. This can save precious minutes in evaluation process,” Mitchell explained.

“There are times when (the EMTs) don’t even stop in the ER. We go straight to the cath lab. (The patient) goes from the ambulance stretcher to the cardiac cath lab table,” he said.
Mitchell praised the paramedics who stay alert to potential cardiac situations and for being aggressive in following protocols and all of the EMTs working as a team when responding to patients with chest pain. “I’m excited for these guys. They’ve done a wonderful job, taking care of our patients,” he added.

With 315 beds, Baptist Golden Triangle is the largest regional hospital affiliated with the Memphis, Tenn.-based Baptist Memorial Health Care system. More than 100 physicians and surgeons, who represent almost every medical specialty, practice at the hospital, which offers a full range of comprehensive medical care to patients of all ages.

The hospital offers a variety of services to the community, including the Baptist Cancer Center-Golden Triangle, Baptist Behavioral Health Care-Golden Triangle for those with behavioral and mental health problems, an extensive rehabilitation department, and educational programs. Baptist Golden Triangle employs more than 1,000 health care professionals.

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