MINNEAPOLIS, MN - March 4, 2013 - The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation (MHIF) today announced the results of survey research aimed at discovering patient and family satisfaction with acute care transfers for patients with STEMI (ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction), a severe heart attack best treated quickly with specialized care. The results, based on 98 patient and 80 family surveys, suggest that patient satisfaction with care decisions and communication can be high, even in emergency care situations that require rapid and complex decision making and, in this case, quick transport to a different hospital for a critically ill patient for whom family may not be present.
For STEMI patients transferred from a Minnesota rural or community hospital to Abbott Northwestern Hospital for specialized care between March 2007 and June 2008, researchers found a significant majority of patients (97%) and their families (99%) felt that transfer for care was necessary. Patients (95%) and families (88%) also reported that the process for transfer was well explained, and 96% of patients understood the reason for transfer. Despite this understanding, 15% of patients and 11% of families would have preferred the patient stay at their local healthcare facility.
"As public health professionals, so much of what we do is data driven, and up until now there has been limited data regarding how patients feel about emergent transfer from up to 200 miles away," states Jason T. Henry, BS, lead author, current medical student, and MHIF intern. "This study helps validate that the wishes of patients and their families are congruent with what we feel is the best medical care, despite circumstances that may be inconvenient."
The Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital established a regional network for transfer of patients with STEMI in 2003, enabling patients to be quickly transferred for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), which is the preferred treatment for patients with STEMI. This model has been replicated nationally and applied to other cardiovascular emergencies. The study findings are important because patient satisfaction is considered an important component of quality health care. Outcomes and communication between the patient, the caregivers, and the health care team are two factors that can impact satisfaction levels. In this study, researchers looked at patients' and families' experiences in a situation where optimal care for the patient had the potential to put strain on the patient and his or her family.
The full results of this research are published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes at http://circoutcomes.
About the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation
The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation is dedicated to improving people's lives through the highest quality cardiovascular research and education.
Scientific Innovation and Research - Publishing more than 120 peer-reviewed studies each year, MHIF is a recognized research leader in the broadest range of cardiovascular medicine. Each year, cardiologists and hospitals around the world adopt MHIF protocols to save lives and improve patient care.
Education and Outreach - Research shows that modifying specific health behaviors can significantly reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Through community programs, screenings and presentations, MHIF educates people of all walks of life about heart health. The goal of the Foundation's community outreach is to increase personal awareness of risk factors and provide the tools necessary to help people pursue heart- healthy lifestyles.
About the Minneapolis Heart Institute®
The Minneapolis Heart Institute® is recognized internationally as one of the world's leading providers of heart and vascular care. This state-of-the-art facility combines the finest in personalized patient care with sophisticated technology in a unique, family-oriented environment. The Institute's programs, a number of which are conducted in conjunction with Abbott Northwestern Hospital, address the full range of heart and vascular health needs: prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.