Up to 50% of patients fail to meet ST-segment–elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) guideline goals recommending a first medical contact–to–device time of <90 minutes for patients directly presenting to percutaneous coronary intervention–capable hospitals and <120 minutes for transferred patients. We sought to increase the proportion of patients treated within guideline goals by organizing coordinated regional reperfusion plans.Methods:
We established leadership teams, coordinated protocols, and provided regular feedback for 484 hospitals and 1253 emergency medical services (EMS) agencies in 16 regions across the United States.Results:
Between July 2012 and December 2013, 23 809 patients presented with acute STEMI (direct to percutaneous coronary intervention hospital: 11 765 EMS transported and 6502 self-transported; 5542 transferred). EMS-transported patients differed from self-transported patients in symptom onset to first medical contact time (median, 47 versus 114 minutes), incidence of cardiac arrest (10% versus 3%), shock on admission (11% versus 3%), and in-hospital mortality (8% versus 3%; P<0.001 for all comparisons). There was a significant increase in the proportion of patients meeting guideline goals of first medical contact–to–device time, including those directly presenting via EMS (50% to 55%; P<0.001) and transferred patients (44%−48%; P=0.002). Despite regional variability, the greatest gains occurred among patients in the 5 most improved regions, increasing from 45% to 57% (direct EMS; P<0.001) and 38% to 50% (transfers; P<0.001).Conclusions:
This Mission: Lifeline STEMI Systems Accelerator demonstration project represents the largest national effort to organize regional STEMI care. By focusing on first medical contact–to–device time, coordinated treatment protocols, and regional data collection and reporting, we were able to increase significantly the proportion of patients treated within guideline goals.