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Northern Virginia News 2013 Archives Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center implements LIFENET®

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center implements LIFENET® 

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Web-based LIFENET® System Utilizes Emergent Patient Data to Help Reduce Time to Treatment in 
Prince William County


Woodbridge, Virginia ­– May 2, 2013 – Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center today announced they have launched a new system to help improve heart attack patient outcomes. The LIFENET System, from Physio-Control, Inc., is the first web-based data network of its kind, offering emergency medical services (EMS) and hospital teams tools to work together to help improve clinical and operational efficiencies. Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center’s use of LIFENET System has the goal of reducing time to treatment, known as door-to-balloon time (D2B), for patients in Prince William County who experience a dangerous type of heart attack known as STEMI (ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction).

 STEMI poses a serious threat to the heart muscle and can result in death or serious disability for the patient. The more quickly patients can receive treatment, which may include balloon angioplasty and stent placement in the cardiac catheterization lab, the more likely they are to have a positive outcome. D2B time refers to the interval from patient arrival at the hospital to inflation of the balloon catheter within the patient's blocked artery – the shorter the D2B time, the greater the chance of survival.

 “At Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center we are committed to providing the most advanced treatment options, like the LIFENET System, in order to provide the best possible care to our community,” said Megan Perry, President of Sentara Northern Medical Center.   “The LIFENET System will help us, in partnership with EMS, to reduce time to treatment for STEMI patients,” Studies show that time from onset of symptoms to treatment is critical to improving survival and outcomes for these patients. Having this new system will enable us to better meet the guideline of treatment as recommended by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.”  Khalid Abousy, MD, Medical Director of the Sentara Heart and Vascular Center Cath Lab and practicing Interventional Cardiologist with Virginia Cardiovascular Care group states that “during a heart attack, time is of the essence to minimize muscle damage and save lives because the window of opportunity is narrow.  LIFENET provides a virtual bridge to link the patient and the physician via EMR communication and streamlines the cardiac service delivery necessary to save patient lives.”  Dr Narian Rajan, Interventional Cardiologist with Mt Vernon Cardiology, notes that “rapid  activation of the cath lab and cardiologist by LIFENET will bring state-of the art treatment of heart attack victims  to the local community saving many lives.”

 Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is thankful for the generous contribution made by the Potomac Health Foundation for the LIFENET EMS-based units.  According to Sheri Warren, “Potomac Health Foundation aims to promote wellness and prevent disease in our service area. Heart issues are among the top health needs resulting in hospitalization in our community. This effort is designed to save lives by providing the medical staff with vital information to determine appropriate treatment interventions, even before the patient arrives at the hospital. It is through our partnerships with community organizations like Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center that we are able to accomplish our mission to improve the health of the community.”

 About the LIFENET System

LIFENET System is a state-of-the-art, easy to use system designed to connect EMS teams and hospital personnel with emergent patient data, and to help increase workflow so that a patient can receive treatment as quickly as possible. LIFENET enables paramedics in the field to alert hospital care teams and provide them with critical patient data so they can quickly identify STEMI patients, determine where to route them for care, and have staff prepared before the patient arrives, reducing time to treatment. This is all securely managed by a web-based system administered by Physio-Control.

 EMS crews in the field use a cardiac monitor/defibrillator to obtain a 12-lead ECG, whether from a LIFEPAK® 12, 15 or third party device. The ECG report is then securely transmitted over the internet. Hospital teams are alerted to incoming information, are able to view the patient data and share with other care teams, and engage remote clinicians for decision support through a transmission via email. The ease of communication throughout the care team helps save critical time, especially important when cath lab activation is indicated.  

 LIFENET System allows paramedics, physicians and nurses to focus on treatment decisions and patient care while the system works quietly in the background, both in the field and in the hospital emergency department or cath lab. LIFENET is helping communities elevate heart attack care to a whole new level by enabling them to set up systems of care for reducing time to treatment for STEMI patients.  LIFENET has been a standard of care in Hampton Roads for several years and its implementation was led by the Sentara Healthcare hospitals in that region of Virginia.

More About STEMI

The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that close to 400,000 people in the U.S. experience STEMI every year. Studies show that when D2B time is 90 minutes or less, patient outcomes significantly improve, and hospital stays are shorter (Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2006).

The use of pre-hospital 12-lead ECGs plays a key part in reducing D2B times (Critical Pathways in Cardiology, 2007). The 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care emphasize the importance of a well-organized approach to STEMI care to activate rapid access to reperfusion therapy.

A 90 minute D2B time has become a core quality measure for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.


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