OSWEGO, NY – Oswego Hospital has added yet another piece of advanced technology in its emergency room that physicians are using to determine more quickly if a patient is having a heart attack.
The new i-STAT system can inform the board-certified ER physicians in about ten minutes whether a patient is having a cardiac event. Previously, blood samples were taken to the lab, where testing could take up to an hour.
Oswego Hospital’s new i-STAT system conducts the necessary testing at the patient’s bedside using a hand-held unit.
Weighing just 18 ounces, the intuitive analyzer needs only two or three drops of blood to provide lab quality results.
The patient’s blood is added to a disposable cartridge that contains test reagents, the cartridge is then inserted in the analyzer and results are provided in minutes.
Using the 10-minute i-STAT cardiac troponin test cartridge, emergency department staff members can test, transmit and treat from the bedside.
“This new equipment is saving precious time in the ER as we are able to determine much quicker whether a patient is having a heart attack,” said Norma Cooney, MD., Oswego Hospital’s medical director of emergency services. “The physicians and staff have found it to be a very useful tool that is improving patient care.”
In recent months, the hospital’s ER has implemented other time-saving initiatives to reduce patient wait times.
The ER staff begins the patient registration process at the bedside whenever possible and has also developed standing protocols so that care can begin upon arrival.
In addition, the department is actively recruiting experienced emergency medicine physicians and nurses.
Through these initiatives, the average wait time in the ER has been reduced by one hour.
In December 2010, Oswego Hospital opened its new ER that features private treatment rooms, two trauma room that have the latest technology and a central cardiac system that allows staff to monitor the heart rhythms of up to 17 patients.
Strategically-placed monitoring screens have been positioned throughout the department and in patient rooms for staff viewing.
This equipment alerts staff of any irregular or life threatening heart issue and has the ability to monitor each patient’s vital signs.
During 2011, the ER provided care to 23,400 visitors.