5 Factors May Save Heart Patients
In a comparison study of 15 hospitals, Elizabeth Bradley, PhD of Yale University and colleagues found that the institutions that employed 5 specific strategies for patients who had heart attacks succeeded in reducing the risk of death. The research was reported in the May 1 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. MedPage Today, in an article on the study, listed the life-saving strategies as follows:
Holding monthly meetings between hospital clinicians and staff who transported patients to the hospital.
Having cardiologists always on site.
Encouraging clinicians to solve problems creatively.
Avoiding cross-training nurses from intensive care units for the cardiac catheterization laboratory.
Having physician and nurse champions rather than nurse champions alone. (According to an article in Healthcare Quarterly, clinical champions are those who demonstrate "agility in navigating the boundaries of the hospital, the divides - real or perceived - between professions and between hospital units and departments.")
However, Bradley and colleagues reported that a nationwide survey revealed that a mere 37 of 537 hospitals use 3 or more of those 5 strategies. They did caution, though, that their study "is a snapshot and can't say anything about cause and effect."