Sharing and Teaching Electrocardiograms to Minimize Infarction (STEMI): reducing diagnostic time for acute coronary occlusion in the emergency department

BACKGROUND Limits to ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) criteria may lead to prolonged diagnostic time for acute coronary occlusion. We aimed to reduce ECG-to-Activation (ETA) time through audit and feedback on STEMI-equivalents and subtle occlusions, without increasing Code STEMIs without culprit lesions.
METHODS This multi-centre, quality improvement initiative reviewed all Code STEMI patients from the emergency department (ED) over a one-year baseline and one-year intervention period. We measured ETA time, from the first ED ECG to the time a Code STEMI was activated. Our intervention strategy involved a grand rounds presentation and an internal website presenting weekly local challenging cases, along with literature on STEMI-equivalents and subtle occlusions. Our outcome measure was ETA time for culprit lesions, our process measure was website views/visits, and our balancing measure was the percentage of Code STEMIs without culprit lesions.
RESULTS There were 51 culprit lesions in the baseline period, and 64 in the intervention period. Median ETA declined from 28.0 min (95% confidence interval [CI] 15.0-45.0) to 8.0 min (95%CI 6.0-15.0). The website garnered 70.4 views/week and 27.7 visitors/week in a group of 80 physicians. There was no change in percentage of Code STEMIs without culprit lesions: 28.2% (95%CI 17.8-38.6) to 20.0% (95%CI 11.2-28.8%). Conclusions Our novel weekly web-based feedback to all emergency physicians was associated with a reduction in ETA time by 20 min, without increasing Code STEMIs without culprit lesions. Local ECG audit and feedback, guided by ETA as a quality metric for acute coronary occlusion, could be replicated in other settings to improve care.

as reported in: Am J Emerg Med. 2021 Oct; 48 18-32