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Implementation of a Novel Prehospital Clinical Decision Tool and ECG Transmission for STEMI Significantly Reduces Door-to-Balloon Time and Sex-Based Disparities.

Background: An important method employed to reduce door to balloon time (DTBT) for ST segment elevation Myocardial Infarctions (STEMIs) is a prehospital MI alert. The purpose of this retrospective study was to examine the effects of an educational intervention using a novel decision support method of STEMI notification and prehospital electrocardiogram (ECG) transmission on DTBT. Methods: An ongoing database (4/4/2000 - present) is maintained to track STEMI alerts. In 2007, an MI alert program began; emergency medicine physicians could activate a "prehospital MI alert". In October 2015, modems were purchased for Emergency Medical Services personnel to transmit ECGs. There was concurrent implementation of a decision support tool for identifying STEMI. Sex was assigned as indicated in the medical record. Data were analyzed in two groups: Pre-2016 (PRE) and 2016-2022 (POST). Results: In total, 3,153 patients (1,301 PRE; 1,852 POST) were assessed; the average age was 65.2 years, 32.6% female, 87.7% white with significant differences in age and race between the two cohorts. Of the total 3,153 MI alerts, 239 were false activations, leaving 2,914 for analysis. 2,115 (72.6%) had cardiac catheterization while 16 (6.7%) of the 239 had a cardiac catheterization. There was an overall decrease in DTBT of 27.5% PRE to POST of prehospital ECG transmission (p <0.001); PRE median time was 74.5 minutes vs. 55 minutes POST. There was no significant difference between rates of cardiac catheterization PRE and POST for all patients. After accounting for age, race, and mode of arrival, DTBT was 12.2% longer in women, as compared to men (p < 0.001) PRE vs. POST. DTBT among women was significantly shorter when comparing PRE to POST periods (median 77 minutes vs. 60 minutes; p = 0.0001). There was no significant sex difference in the proportion of those with cardiac catheterization between the two cohorts (62.5% vs. 63.5%; p = 0.73). Conclusion: Introduction of a decision support tool with prehospital ECG transmission with prehospital ECG transmission decreased overall DTBT by 20 minutes (27.5%). Women in the study had a 17-minute decrease in DTBT (22%), but their DTBT remained 12.2% longer than men for reasons that remain unclear.

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