Reinventing healthcare one patient at a time

Cardiac Emergency

Faster care for cardiac emergencies

An ambulance carrying a heart attack patient in Rotterdam transmits an EKG image to the Emergency Department (ED) at Ellis Hospital and to the cell phone of an on-call cardiologist. This triggers an alert in the Ellis ED, activating the staff and Cardiac Catheterization team to ready the necessary resources. By the time the heart attack patient arrives at Ellis, the process for treating the patient is well underway. This preparation speeds the time it takes to get the patient to the catheterization lab, where the interventional cardiologist (the same doctor who received the alert on his cell phone) is waiting to open the patient's blocked coronary artery with a balloon catheter.

Innovative new procedures such as this are helping cardiac patients receive better care faster, and Ellis is leading the way with innovative team approaches and streamlined processes that speed treatments and save lives. In fact, Ellis was named one of the nation's "Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospitals" for 2011 by Thomson Reuters, one of only two hospitals in New York State to receive this recognition.

"Our success is due to a collaborative effort with ambulance companies, as well as fire departments in Schenectady, Saratoga, Fulton and Montgomery Counties," says electrophysiologist Robert Joy, M.D.. Ellis Medicine has donated state-of-the-art EKG machines and corresponding computer equipment to some local EMS crews, including those in Schenectady, Niskayuna and Clifton Park/Halfmoon, to enable them to digitally transmit EKG data to computers in Ellis Hospital's emergency department.

Early diagnosis and treatment in the Emergency Department

The Ellis cardiac team’s expertise is especially critical in diagnosis and treatment of cardiac conditions in the Emergency Department. Because nearly half of all heart attack victims do not present classic symptoms, our team members can recognize and begin treating atypical symptoms before they do serious, irreversible damage to heart tissue. The cardiac team model has helped us improve response times and achieve better patient outcomes.

Door-to-balloon times that beat national goals

An important measure of cardiac care and program responsiveness is "door-to-balloon time" - the average time for a heart attack patient to get from the emergency room to the catheterization lab where a balloon is inflated in his or her artery to restore blood flow.

Ellis Hospital’s door-to-balloon time averages about 54 minutes, about 36 minutes faster than the national benchmark, to provide potentially lifesaving treatments much sooner. "We've been able to get patients out of the ambulance and up to the catheterization lab to open the coronary artery in under 20 minutes," adds interventional cardiologist Steven Weitz, M.D.

Successes like our door-to-balloon times are important milestones on the way to further improvements. This commitment to innovation and procedural efficiencies improves outcomes and quality of life for our patients.

Breakthrough therapies for better patient outcomes

The Emergency team at Ellis Medicine employs the latest advances in emergency care. Recently we've added breakthrough treatments such as Hypothermic Therapies for heart attack victims. Learn more here...

Complete cardiac care, close to home

During a heart attack, it’s important to get to the nearest hospital that can stabilize your condition and prevent more serious damage to heart tissue. Ellis is centrally located to serve Southern Saratoga, Western Albany and Schenectady Counties, as well as Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie Counties in central New York. Because we can deliver top-quality care close to home, Ellis is the best place to be when experiencing heart problems.

For more information about Ellis Medicine’s Wright Heart Center or Emergency Services, please call 518.243.3333.