Phoebe Putney surpasses heart-care goal - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Phoebe Putney surpasses heart-care goal

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - If you're having a heart attack, quick medical treatment can mean the difference between life and death.

The national standard for hospitals is to catheterize heart patients within 90 minutes of the time they come through the hospital doors.

Phoebe Putney Hospital just completed a campaign in which they shattered that goal.

If you came in these doors at the Phoebe Chest pain center, thinking you were having a heart attack, the last thing you would want to do is wait on treatment. And that's the last thing Emergency Director Todd Braswell wants patients to do.

"Time is muscle. You're constantly working against the clock. Every minute that is wasted is tissue that cannot be brought back, so time is of the essence here," said Braswell. 

In order to speed up treatment time, Phoebe bought and supplied ambulances in eight counties with EKG machines. Those allow paramedics to send diagnostic information to the hospital before the patient even arrives.

"This is lives that was saved. There's no doubt when you look at the EMS component and being able to diagnose patients that early, everybody doesn't have that technology," said Braswell. 

Phoebe's Emergency Center went from a door to catheterization time of 68 minutes, already less than the national standard, to just 60 minutes. In a 100 day challenge, not one patient had to wait more than an hour and a half.

"I knew that we could do it, and we knew we had a good process, but we didn't imagine that we would just absolutely crush the goal and make it without thinking about it twice. We just never looked back," said Braswell. 

And now more patients who come in with chest pain, can look forward to their future's, because time saved, saved their lives.

The twelve EKG machines cost Phoebe about a half million dollars.

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