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New software speeds up cardiac care for patients with implanted devices

Rene Mazeroll, RN

In emergency departments where rapid, correct diagnosis and treatment is paramount, nurses and other staff have a new tool to promptly understand what’s going on with cardiac patients who have implanted devices.

Nurses at University of California, San Diego and Sharp Chula Vista (Calif.) are seeing positive outcomes for patients and better workflow in their EDs using this technology, the Geneva Healthcare Suite.

“The tool allows nurses and physicians to assess much more rapidly and efficiently to help with differential diagnosis” Rene Mazeroll, MSN, RN, SACCA, clinical operations adviser for Geneva Healthcare, said of the Suite.

Sharp Chula Vista ED statistics

Since January 15, 2014, when Sharp Chula Vista’s ED began using the software, 680 patients have had their devices interrogated, revealing 14 dead batteries and eight lead fractures. according to Christina Ballejos-Campos, PhD., RN, CNS, an ED clinical nurse specialist with Sharp.

One Sharp patient had his device implanted many years ago, but he hadn’t seen his cardiologist since then. “We discovered his device had been recalled because we couldn’t even interrogate it,” Ballejos-Campos said. Overall, she said they’ve found that many cardiac patients haven’t returned to their physicians for follow-up care.

Mazeroll said the software takes data from the four most common pacemakers or implantable cardioverter-defibrillators and puts the information in a user-friendly format that can be rapidly interpreted by physicians and nurses.

Workflows improve

Juliet Sapida, RN

This software also is shortening the time patients with cardiac devices must wait in the ED. At UCSD, research recently showed that the Suite cut 92 minutes from the typical patient waiting time.

“A few years ago, average wait times in EDs were approximately six hours nationwide [for patients needing interrogation of devices], ” Juliet Sapida, RN, assistant base hospital coordinator for UCSD Medical Center Hillcrest, said. The software also has improved workflow, she said. When a patient arrives at the hospital, “an ED nurse triages them and identifies if the patient has a cardiac device implanted. If so, we take them directly [into the ED], hook them to a monitor and get the software cart.”

Previously, patients had to wait for a representative from the cardiac device manufacturer to arrive — which can take hours. This technology allows nurses and techs to ID most devices on site and know what’s going on with them.

“We didn’t realize before [using the Suite] how many patients had cardiac devices,” Ballejos-Campos said. And before using the Suite to interrogate devices, “nurses didn’t think much about how long it took for the reps to come and how long patients waited.”

Sapida said patients express immediate satisfaction with the speed of the process. “This is new science, new technology, and they’re identifying with it,” she said. “It’s exciting for nurses to come into the 21st century with this technology, and we’re on the forefront of that.”

Other outcomes with the use of the Suite include freed-up beds for better throughput and reduced hospital costs by avoiding unnecessary admissions, Mazeroll said.

“Our job [as nurses] is to do the right thing the first time we touch the patient, so we have to have the right information when we first touch the patient.”

Hospitals using the Suite

Hospitals using the Suite as of September 8 include:
• UCSD Medical Center – San Diego and La Jolla, Calif.
• Paradise Valley Hospital- National City, Calif.
• Sharp Chula Vista Hospital – Chula Vista, Calif.

By | 2020-04-15T09:22:55-04:00 September 9th, 2014|Categories: Regional, West|0 Comments

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