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April 26, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is the first in the state and among only four health care institutions in the country to implement a new program designed to speed care for critically ill heart and vascular patients.
Modeled closely after Ohio State’s successful initiative to streamline care for ST-segment myocardial infarction (STEMI), the most serious form of heart attack, the newly launched program now includes other heart and vascular emergencies such as ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm, acute aortic dissection, acute limb ischemia and cardiogenic shock.
The program, called the Level I Heart and Vascular Emergency program, is based at Ohio State’s Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital.
“With our STEMI alert program, we have reduced patient transfer times and increased heart attack survival rates,” says Dr. Raymond Magorien, a cardiologist and director of the Level I Heart and Vascular Emergency program. “Now we are applying many of the same efficiency and quality improvements to further bolster our care for critically ill heart and vascular patients."
Ohio State’s Level I team works closely with referring hospitals, emergency medical service providers, the emergency department and other patient care areas to provide fast and easy access to treatment. The team establishes protocols with referring hospitals for quickly assessing a cardiovascular emergency and initiating a patient transfer. With one phone call, surgeons, cardiologists, nurses and imaging technologists are mobilized to prepare for the arriving patient.
“No matter how good a system is between a regional and an academic hospital, there is always room to improve, and we are excited to create this program that will coordinate and speed access to life-saving cardiac care in Ohio and surrounding areas,” says Magorien.
Magorien says currently there is no accreditation for Level I cardiovascular programs, however, he welcomes a verification process that would hold these emerging programs to certain criteria and the highest standards of care.
Ohio State’s Level I Heart and Vascular Emergency program is working with nearly 200 hospitals in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky.