News | October 24, 2013

AirStrip One Deployed as Mobile Strategy for Cardiology to Contend With Growth

ECG wireless remote access software device
October 24, 2013 — AirStrip announced new research demonstrating the results of its mobility solution AirStrip One Cardiology, along with successful use cases by Rockdale Medical Center, Palomar Health, Montefiore Medical Center and Sequoia Hospital.
New client implementations and innovation labs
Rockdale Medical Center, a part of the LifePoint Hospitals system located in Conyers, Ga., is the first in the greater Atlanta area to deploy AirStrip One as a first step toward an enterprise-wide mobility plan.
Lisa Gillespie, M.D., chief medical officer, Rockdale, said the ability to perform off-hours and on-call consults on patient electrocardiograms (ECGs) regardless of the clinician’s location, along with the ability to refer to a historical ECG while simultaneously reviewing a current one, were two powerful motivators.
“Mobility will strengthen our workflow while maintaining HIPAA compliance and break down geographic barriers by improving anytime, anywhere access to crucial cardiac care data,” said Gillespie. “The ultimate benefits of mobility include improved outcomes. The success stories we have heard elsewhere convinced us that this is the right decision to make on behalf of both our patients and our clinicians.”
At the same time, AirStrip has formed an innovation lab partnership with Palomar Health, the largest public health-care district in California and the most comprehensive health care delivery system in northern San Diego County. Palomar Health will begin using a greatly expanded version of AirStrip One that incorporates a variety of additional data sources and advanced functionality, including radiology views, EMR access and providing access to ECGs and labs via secure link sharing.
“When treating patients with cardiac disease — whether it is chest pain, acute MI or congestive heart failure — time is of the essence,” said Orlando Portale, chief innovation officer, Palomar Health. “When physicians have mobile access to minute-by-minute information, care processes are improved as is the ability to effectively treat patients. With that in mind, we see growing potential for integrating mobility across the entire cardiac care continuum.”
“As Palomar Health moves forward as an early adopter of AirStrip One Cardiology, we are seeing how mobility can help us treat patients even more effectively,” added Benjamin Kanter, M.D., chief medical information officer, Palomar Health. “Beyond mobile ECGs, Palomar Health clinicians will be able to view other patient data, including monitoring and EMR data, to offer a more complete picture of patients throughout the entire care cycle.”
Ongoing commitment and expanding implementations
Among the AirStrip clients who see growing value in AirStrip One Cardiology is Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, which has seen first-hand the potential for mobility to improve care through such measures as shortened door-to-balloon times, which can reduce patient treatment times and hospital length-of-stay (LOS).
“Mobility allows cardiologists to view diagnostic-quality, near real-time patient data on any device within seconds no matter where they are,” noted Mony Weschler, chief applications strategist, Montefiore. “By reducing the time it takes for test results to be delivered to and analyzed by the right clinician, cardiologists can make decisions about patient care much faster and with just as much accuracy as if they were sitting at their desktops.”
Weschler added that mobility has reduced false cath lab activations at Montefiore, which can cost thousands of dollars per event simply because physicians can more quickly and accurately assess the patient’s condition and determine the appropriate course of action. More importantly, he says, timely cardiology involvement in acutely ill patients with complex dysrhythmias has reduced long-term costs of cardiac care and improved population health by minimizing heart damage.
Adam Harmon, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon at Sequoia Hospital, a Dignity Health member in Redwood City, Calif., says feedback from fellow clinicians regarding AirStrip One Cardiology has been “significantly positive” and that he is looking ahead to incorporating mobility throughout the cardiac care continuum.
“We can't be in the hospital 24 hours a day. Cardiac surgeons are constantly interested in rhythm changes, QRS morphology changes, monitoring a variety of different pressures, and validity of the waveforms. Historically we've had to assess these measurements verbally over the telephone when we are not at or near the bedside,” Harmon said. “With mobile technology, assessment and potentially a therapeutic intervention can be made virtually immediately. It is a phenomenal step forward.”
New research reveals financial gains, care quality benefits
Ninety minutes is the benchmark set by CMS and the Joint Commission. But when cardiologists can access diagnostic-quality ECGs coming directly from the ambulance using AirStrip One, they can make immediate decisions and save valuable time, in some cases reducing door-to-balloon time to as little as 35 minutes.
“In cardiology, ‘time is muscle’ and reducing event-to-balloon times gets patients through treatment and to the ICU with less damage to their hearts,” said Alan Portela, CEO, AirStrip. “They are ultimately healthier, which in turn can reduce the likelihood of readmission within 30 days. With mobility, hospitals can shave nearly a day from their post-STEMI ICU stays, which can save $1,500 per patient. And sometimes, avoiding certain interventions is what’s important — the sooner clinicians can identify and communicate a false STEMI, the more savings the health system will see.”
By helping to expedite treatment, AirStrip One can have a measurable impact on patient health. A retrospective comparative analysis of STEMI patient cases in which AirStrip One was used, compared to patients with similar demographics and risk levels who were not covered by AirStrip, found that by providing cardiologists with mobile access to ECGs pre-hospital or just after arrival:
  • 22 percent more patients were discharged to home (versus post-acute care)
  • 11 percent saw improvement in post procedure Ejection Fraction (EF) with mobility
  • 60 percent of patients were more likely to have a normal post-procedure EF range (50 percent and higher), versus a mean of 45 percent without mobility
  • In addition to the health and outcomes improvements, mobility via AirStrip One can also contribute to improved financial performance for cardiology service lines. The estimated impact in this arena includes:
  • Reduced costs — $1,500 per case
  • Shortened LOS up to three days, saving $500/day through improved care coordination, for NSTEMI patients
  • Potential to reduce telemetry LOS by 22 percent and related costs by 60 percent for cardiac patients
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