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Published on May 09, 2013

Dinner Celebrates Stemi program success at UHS Chenango Memorial


UHS News Release
Release:  Immediately
Contact:  Linda Lewis-Moors, 337-4093 or community_relations@uhs.org
May 9, 2013


Members of UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Services Department (ED) and the Norwich Fire Department celebrated together at a dinner honoring the emergency medical providers for their speedy team approach to treating patients suffering heart attacks.  A special addition to the dinner was one of their patients, William Hendricks, who lives in Middletown, NJ, and owns property in Chenango County.  Mr. Hendricks survived a STEMI (segment elevation myocardial infarction), the more severe type of heart attack, in part due to the quick diagnosis and treatment he received in the hospital’s Emergency Department.  He was subsequently transferred to Wilson Medical Center for further care.  Hendricks explained, “I thought I was having some bad indigestion, but the ER staff quickly recognized that it could be more serious.  They immediately took steps to determine what was wrong and what they needed to do.  Their quick teamwork saved my life.”

Dr. Peter Gordon, medical director of the emergency department, explained that myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) occur when a coronary artery is at least partially blocked.  This causes the heart muscle being supplied by that artery to infarct (to die).  “There are two types of heart attacks, and a STEMI is the more severe type and requires time-sensitive diagnosis and treatment.  The more quickly the patient gets to the Emergency Department and the faster we diagnose and begin treatment, the less heart damage the patient sustains.”

In 2012, the hospital’s Emergency Department engaged in a yearlong patient safety initiative to train and encourage ED employees to work together as a team. The department selected this particular condition to work on, with a goal of getting each STEMI patient triaged, diagnosed, and treated appropriately, and then sent on his way to an advanced cardiac center as quickly as possible.  Procedures were put into place, staff members were educated, EMS providers were brought into the partnership and goals were set.  Monitors were established, and the program has been very successful.  On Friday, March 15 the top two performing teams in 2012, who accomplished all the necessary tasks from patient arrival to transfer in 51 and 50 minutes, enjoyed a victory dinner at the Poolville Country Store.  They were all extremely gratified that one of their success stories, Mr. Hendricks, was there with his wife to share the celebration. 

Dr. Gordon stressed the importance of recognizing and treating STEMIs quickly, and the positive effect this program has had on his staff.  “They each understand the importance of the efficiency and effectiveness of what they do and how what they do affects patient outcomes.  As a result, our entire department, along with the EMS providers, is acting as a very motivated team.  In fact, based on our success, we are continuing this program through 2013.  We know we can get our turnaround time down even more, and for each minute we can shave off the time it takes to provide preliminary treatment here, that’s one more minute toward improving that patient’s eventual outcome.”

Donna Faber, Emergency Services Department nurse manager, stated, “We are very proud of our staff and of how they have learned and come together as a high-functioning medical team.  With this initiative, they have embraced the essential team work that defines a good, patient-centered approach to quality health care.  An already good department has become even better through enhanced team work and effective communication.”

UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital is a member of UHS, a locally owned, not-for-profit, 916-bed hospital and health care system serving the Greater Binghamton region from more than 40 locations around New York’s Southern Tier.

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