As a result of this combined research, Crouse physicians and the EMS service decided that they should do ambulance-based EKGs on patients who complained of other symptoms besides chest pain.
"As a result, we changed protocols," says Suehs. "This is a way to find more effective ways to push treatment of the patient further into the field while they're en route."
As Suehs points out, there are a number of reasons to do this kind of work, but making sure care provided is efficient and as quick as possible will have a positive impact down the road, not only for the patient but for the hospital as well, as they are increasingly held responsible through a variety of mechanisms for longer than average lengths of stay.
"But the main beneficiary is our patient—that is, collectively ours—the hospital's and the EMS service's. The mental attitude dividing line is disappearing. They actually get to learn more from the physicians, who are taking time to teach them clinically what's going on with their patients, which makes them a better EMT."
As a result of the success of the cardiac program, Crouse is seeking a grant to do some of the same type of educational and research work for suspected stroke victims, Suehs says.
Given the amount of waste and lack of connectivity that plagues healthcare today, I can't think of too many better ways to spend a little grant money.