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Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2010 Nov-Dec;53(3):202-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2010.08.004.

Primary percutaneous coronary intervention for patients presenting with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction: process improvement in a rural ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction receiving center.

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Section of Cardiology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH 03756,



Rural ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) care networks may be particularly disadvantaged in achieving a door-to-balloon time (D2B) of less than or equal to 90 minutes recommended in current guidelines. ST-ELEVATION MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION PROCESS UPGRADE PROJECT: A multidisciplinary STEMI process upgrade group at a rural percutaneous coronary intervention center implemented evidence-based strategies to reduce time to electrocardiogram (ECG) and D2B, including catheterization laboratory activation triggered by either a prehospital ECG demonstrating STEMI or an emergency department physician diagnosing STEMI, single-call catheterization laboratory activation, catheterization laboratory response time less than or equal to 30 minutes, and prompt data feedback.


An ongoing regional STEMI registry was used to collect process time intervals, including time to ECG and D2B, in a consecutive series of STEMI patients presenting before (group 1) and after (group 2) strategy implementation. Significant reductions in time to first ECG in the emergency department and D2B were seen in group 2 compared with group 1.


Important improvement in the process of acute STEMI patient care was accomplished in the rural percutaneous coronary intervention center setting by implementing evidence-based strategies.

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