Bon Secours Hampton Roads has joined forces with Tidewater EMS Council and the Peninsula EMS Council to implement LIFENET at Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center, Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center, Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital, and our full-service, free standing emergency department at Bon Secours Health Center at Harbour View. This life-saving web-based system allows emergency medical service (EMS) teams to collect medical data, including an EKG, and transmit it directly to the emergency room within minutes of reaching a cardiac patient, greatly increasing the chances for survival.
Here’s How It Works
When the EMS team suspects that a patient may be experiencing a ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI), an especially dangerous type of heart attack that occurs when a coronary artery suddenly becomes at least partially blocked by a blood clot, they perform a 12-lead electrocardiogram (EKG) to collect patient information. According to Jeff Doucette, vice president of Emergency Services at Bon Secours, within two to three minutes of arriving at the patient’s home, the EMS team transmits the 12-lead EKG data directly to the hospital emergency department, the cardiologist, and the cardiac cath lab through LIFENET technology. This allows all parties involved in the treatment to review the information simultaneously.
The 12-lead EKG is vital because it alerts the hospital that a patient with a STEMI is being transported to their facility, allowing the cardiac team to prepare for the patient’s arrival and have the cardiac catheterization team standing by. Since the diagnosis has already been made en route to the hospital, treatment can begin as soon as the patient arrives at the emergency department. The national standard for treating STEMI patients is 90 minutes from the 911 emergency call to the cardiac cath lab. LIFENET greatly helps reduce time to treatment and improves the patient’s chances for a positive outcome.
Dr. Audrey Grant, medical director for Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center Emergency Department, says, “Cardiac arrest is the number one cause of death. When the EMS arrives, they can do an EKG and transfer the information to the hospital. If it indicates that the patient is having a heart attack caused by a blood clot in a vessel, the emergency department staff can get ready to treat the patient before arrival to provide better care and prevent death.”
The LIFENET initiative has been a collaborative effort between the EMS councils and regional hospitals to ensure consistent, timelier and more accurate patient data. Bon Secours has been working with the EMS councils for over a year to prepare to launch the system and has worked diligently over the last three months to activate the system at its medical facilities. Doucette says, “Bon Secours is committed to improving cardiac care in the community. Regardless of which hospital people go to, we are building relationships with EMS to give patients the best care available.”