New findings from the Mission: Lifeline STEMI Systems Accelerator program suggest that a regionalized approach to ST-segment elevation myocardial infarctions (STEMI) can cut time-to-treatment for patients modestly, thereby improving the prospects for better outcomes. The approach encourages hospitals, emergency medical services (EMS), and cardiologists in a region to work together to optimize treatment and efficiency so that patients in need of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) receive this care more expeditiously.

  • The research included 484 hospitals, 1,253 EMS agencies, and nearly 24,000 patients in 16 regions across the United States.
  • The goal was to increase the number of STEMI patients who receive PCI within professionally prescribed time parameters.
  • Overall, the percentage of STEMI patients receiving PCI in accordance with guidelines improved from 50% to 55% during the study period.
  • Key to the Mission: Lifeline approach is a focus on starting the clock ticking on time-to-treatment at first medical contact (FMC) as opposed to the hospital door, but this requires coordination with EMS and other hospitals.
  • Some observers question whether a push for regionalization is worth the effort, considering the modest results thus far.