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HCH updates heart attack protocols

As a benefit of its collaborative affiliation agreement with Norton Healthcare, Harrison County Hospital is among the first regional hospitals in the state to receive guidance on advanced protocols for treating severe heart attacks. Harrison County Hospital recently became a participating provider in an enhanced practice of care associated with the early identification and treatment of these cases.
‘From the moment a heart attack patient arrives in the emergency room, the clock begins ticking,’ Steve Taylor, president of Harrison County Hospital, said. ‘The protocols and training provided by Norton Healthcare give minute-by-minute instructions designed to minimize health risks and reduce the time before transport. Patients are evaluated, treated, stabilized and transferred to a Norton Healthcare hospital for more advanced treatment following a very efficient process.’
The protocols focus on Door-In-Door-Out (DIDO) time. This is the duration of time from when the patient arrives in the emergency department to being discharged to a Norton Healthcare facility equipped to treat cases of severe heart attack. Ideally, this time period should last no longer than 30 minutes, with specific procedures to be conducted during that time.
Patient outcomes are improved by following these guidelines. The system relies upon early symptom recognition and diagnosis, rapid treatment and risk identification and tools provided by Norton Healthcare to guide emergency room staff through the process.
In 2009, 5 percent of adults in Indiana reported being told that they had a heart attack, while nearly the same percentage reported having coronary artery disease.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for all races and genders in the state. Indiana has the 14th highest death rate from cardiovascular disease in the country.
‘It’s exciting to see progress being made across Indiana to improve collaboration and to reduce the time for heart attack care, according to American Heart Association guidelines,’ Alexander Kuhn, senior director for Mission Lifeline at the American Heart Association, said. ‘This advancement will not only save lives, but it will also address a serious health care concern for the state.’
Taylor said HCH is grateful for the opportunity to partner with Norton Healthcare.
‘Our community benefits greatly from that partnership,’ he said. ‘Residents in our area now have rapid access to tertiary hospital care if they are suffering from a severe heart attack. This raises the quality of care available to them through one location.’
Norton Healthcare also appreciates the partnership.
‘Norton Healthcare is proud to partner with Harrison County Hospital to make these advanced treatment protocols the standard of care for Harrison County patients,’ Stephen A. Williams, president and chief executive officer at Norton Healthcare, said. ‘This collaboration extends the network that is facilitating a timely system of care for cardiovascular patients in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.’
For more than 125 years, Norton Healthcare’s faith heritage has guided its mission to provide quality health care to all those it serves. Today, Norton Healthcare is the Louisville area’s leading hospital and health care system (46 percent market share) and third largest private employer, providing care at nearly 140 locations throughout Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana. The Louisville-based not-for-profit system includes five Louisville hospitals with more than 1,800 licensed beds; five outpatient centers; 12 Norton Immediate Care Centers; 11,800 employees; more than 570 employed medical providers; and in excess of 2,000 total physicians on its medical staff. Norton Healthcare was the 2011 recipient of the National Quality Forum National Quality Healthcare Award, along with the 2011 Kentucky Hospital Association Quality Award. Norton Healthcare and Humana are one of only four national pilot sites, and the only one in Kentucky, to study the Accountable Care Organization model through the prestigious Brookings ‘ Dartmouth ACO Pilot Project.
More information about Norton Healthcare is available online at