Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Shady Grove earns waiver for early heart attack procedure

Hospital ties for best response to patients among Maryland facilities using the technique

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Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville can continue providing an early life-saving procedure for heart attack patients thanks to a two-year waiver from the Maryland Health Care Commission, hospital officials reported.

The procedure, called primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), involves inserting a balloon-type device into a heart attack patient’s arteries to clear blockage.

In Maryland, hospitals are allowed to perform the procedure only if they offer cardiac (or open heart) surgery onsite or receive a waiver from the commission, Shady Grove officials said.

Hospitals without cardiac surgery, such as Shady Grove, may obtain a one- to two-year waiver based on performance.

Shady Grove has been performing PCI since 1996, hospital officials said.

According to a statement from the hospital, Shady Grove tied for the best response to heart attack patients among Maryland hospitals with a PCI waiver.

The door-to-balloon (DTB) time measures the time between a patient entering the emergency department and when the device is used. In 2006, Shady Grove’s DTB time averaged under two hours, the state standard, in 87 percent of its patients, the hospital reported.

‘‘We are pleased that the commission granted Shady Grove a two-year waiver,” Dennis Hansen, president of Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, said. ‘‘Our outcomes not only met state standards, they surpassed state standards, thereby demonstrating our commitment to exceptional care for patients in our community.”