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A Straight Line to Higher Survival Rates: Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Patient Movement

Posted 12 October 2021

When it comes to sudden cardiac arrest, having immediate access to hospital care more than doubles a patient’s chances of survival.

According to 2019 data, only 11% of all patients in the U.S. who suffer a sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital survive. And that’s after being administered emergency medical services.1 Conversely, the median survival rate for those who experience sudden cardiac arrest in a hospital is approximately 25%.2 That’s over a two-fold increase.

The role of EMS response times in surviving sudden cardiac arrest

So, if a patient can’t have immediate access to hospital care or a higher level of care, then the ability to transport that patient to a medical facility as fast as possible becomes paramount. While studies on the correlation between EMS response times in the survival rate of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests are a bit sparse in the U.S., a 2020 study conducted in Sweden highlights the need for efficient patient response and transport. In its findings, the study observed that survival of up to 30 days after a sudden cardiac arrest were notably higher in cases where EMS response times were less than 10 minutes.3

In other words, there’s a straight line between fast EMS response and transport and an increased likelihood of survival for sudden cardiac arrest patients. When someone suffers a cardiac arrest outside of the hospital, the responding EMS will take the patient to the nearest medical care facility. But many times — especially in rural areas — the hospital that’s closest may not be capable of providing the level of care needed. In these situations, the patient will be stabilized—but they’ll still need to be transported to a hospital that can provide the proper care.

So, if healthcare providers hope to drive up the current 11% survival rate of patients who suffer out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests, they must make coordinating and overseeing the transport of these patients from one hospital to another as efficient and seamless as possible. But how?

Addressing the logistical setbacks that slow down patient care 

Until you can remove the hurdles that drive up EMS response and transport times, survival rates for patients suffering from sudden cardiac arrests will continue to be negatively impacted. Some of these hurdles include information silos (such as lack of visibility into a receiving hospital’s capacity and capability) and communication silos (lack of real-time coordination and updates across all stakeholders).

And for rural hospitals, geography is another critical hurdle. Hospitals in rural areas are more spread out across counties versus those found in bigger urban centers. Not only are EMS teams and those coordinating patient transport stifled by lack of information and communication, but they’re often tasked with moving patients over long distances.

If you as a healthcare provider want to improve the survival rates of patients suffering from sudden cardiac arrests, then you need to:

How to improve outcomes for patients suffering from sudden cardiac arrests

At Motient, we’ve developed Mission Control, our SaaS platform to help healthcare providers rapidly coordinate the most appropriate transport possible for patients once they have been stabilized. By using Mission Control to coordinate and manage patient movement between hospitals, healthcare providers can actively work to increase the likelihood of survival after a sudden cardiac arrest.

EMS teams and hospitals can use Mission Control to view patient-movement data in a single place and communicate seamlessly with each other in real-time. For those in charge of coordinating patient movement, Mission Control helps them determine how time-critical a patient’s care is and which hospital (considering on-site equipment, staff expertise, geographic location, and other important variables) is most likely to offer the best possible care.

Mission Control also captures and brings together otherwise inaccessible data on a single analytics platform, providing teams with real-time insights across the entire patient movement process. While never collecting protected health information (PHI), Mission Control still enables the analyses of a patient’s condition, factors such as response times and course of treatment, and outcomes. These analytics are then applied when coordinating patient movement to further help improve patient survival rates.

Learn more about how Mission Control can help you increase the efficiency of patient movement — and improve the survival rates of patients suffering from sudden cardiac arrests.

Sources 

  1. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2021 Update
  2. Survival After In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in Critically Ill Patients
  3. Shortening Ambulance Response Time Increases Survival in Out‐of‐Hospital Cardiac Arrest

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