Ascension St. Vincent Evansville begins usage of app to better help heart attack patients

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EVANSVILLE, INDIANA (WEHT)– Officials at Ascension St. Vincent said traditionally, getting a patient admitted to a catheterization lab for a heart attack could make for a lengthy process.

“EMS arrives and assesses the patient, does an EKG, and usually diagnoses the heart attack in the field. Then the patient is transported to the emergency department where they’re diverted into the emergency department, another EKG is performed, and the patient is assessed by the ER doctor,” Dr. A.J. Voelkel, interventional cardiologist at the hospital, said.

But the hospital is now working with EMS workers across the tristate to cut down the time it takes to get a patient into the catheterization lab. They’re removing some of the emergency room time through the use of an app. Eyewitness News was taken along for the ride in a simulated situation showcasing what actually would happen if EMS responded to a call where the patient was showing symptoms of a heart attack.

“We were able to use that data through the E-Bridge app that we have hooked up with St. Vincent, send the information to the hospital, which then alerts the ER which called for a cath lab to be ready,” paramedic Tim Vollmer told Eyewitness News.

Officials said this then solidifies that partnership between EMS and other hospital staff.

“It allows them to see what we see. It allows them to understand what we’re trying to tell them in a more realistic manner,” Vollmer said.

Voelkel said this most importantly provides better care to patients by cutting down on the time it takes to get them to proper care.

“The quicker we can get the patient care, quicker we get that artery open, the better they are,” Voelkel said.

Eyewitness News also contacted Deaconess Health officials who said they also use the same app in their emergency rooms.

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