Does cardiac catheterization laboratory activation by electrocardiography machine auto-interpretation reduce door-to-balloon time?

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ObjectivesIn an attempt to begin ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) treatment more quickly (referred to as door-to-balloon [DTB] time) by minimizing preventable delays in electrocardiogram (ECG) interpretation, cardiac catheterization laboratory (CCL) activation was changed from activation by the emergency physician (code heart I) to activation by a single page if the ECG is interpreted as STEMI by the ECG machine (ECG machine auto-interpretation) (code heart II).We sought to determine the impact of ECG machine auto-interpretation on CCL activation.MethodsThe study period was from June 2010 to May 2012 (from June to November 2011, code heart I; from December 2011 to May 2012, code heart II). All patients aged 18 years or older who were diagnosed with STEMI were evaluated for enrolment. Patients who experienced the code heart system were also included.Door-to-balloon time before and after code heart system were compared with a retrospective chart review. In addition, to determine the appropriateness of the activation, we compared coronary angiography performance rate and percentage of STEMI between code heart I and II.ResultsAfter the code heart system, the mean DTB time was significantly decreased (before, 96.51 ± 65.60 minutes; after, 65.40 ± 26.40 minutes; P = .043).The STEMI diagnosis and the coronary angiography performance rates were significantly lower in the code heart II group than in the code heart I group without difference in DTB time.ConclusionCardiac catheterization laboratory activation by ECG machine auto-interpretation does not reduce DTB time and often unnecessarily activates the code heart system compared with emergency physician–initiated activation. This system therefore decreases the appropriateness of CCL activation.

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