Heart Attack Patients’ Vital Information Sent Ahead to Hospitals
Area first responders and ThedaCare hospitals are the first in Wisconsin to use a new app-like program that helps EMS caring for a heart attack patient focus on care and better prepares the hospital – saving valuable time and increasing the chance of survival. ThedaCare is the first in the state to implement Pulsara, a standardized communication protocol that performs like an app, to simplify the response for ST-Segment Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) heart attack patients. Pulsara provides online and wireless delivery of vital patient information collected by first responders or ER doctors to interventional cardiologists at ThedaCare hospitals.
“The goal is to reduce door-to-balloon times, or the time it takes for a patient to have their blocked artery opened in the cardiac catheterization lab,” said Julie Ludwig, RN, supervisor of Cardiovascular Specialty Services at ThedaCare.
From the moment a patient first gets help from first responders or emergency room staff, Pulsara allows caregivers to enter important patient information into an application that simultaneously starts the clock on the door to balloon time. Each member of the care team is kept up to date about arrival times, catheter lab readiness, and when a patient is transferred from one stage of care to the next by their cell phones or other electronic devices.
“Everyone is on the same page when that patient arrives,” said Ludwig. “Our clinicians don’t have to shuffle through multiple charts or take multiple calls to get a read on the situation because it’s all been presented to each member of the team in real time.”
“Now that the EMS system and ThedaCare are united with a secure — but simple — platform that eliminates much of the chaos, they can focus their time on what’s important – taking care of patients,” said James Woodson, Emergency Department physician and CEO of Pulsara. “Reducing the time from first medical contact to intervention is the goal of ThedaCare. Pulsara will help them achieve that.”
Pulsara also tracks response times and patient outcomes against customized ThedaCare benchmarks. Once the patient enters the catheterization lab, the timeline is logged and stored for quality improvement purposes.
Following the implementation of Pulsara for cardiac care, ThedaCare will roll out the same device for use with stroke and acute neurological events.
For more than 100 years, ThedaCare™ has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The organization serves more than 200,000 patients annually and employs more than 6,800 healthcare professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose and 34 clinics in 14 counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs, and a foundation dedicated to community service. ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center opened in February. For more information, visit www.thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.