OhioHealth Brings Advanced Heart Care to Dublin Methodist Hospital with the Opening of a New Level II Cardiac Catheterization Lab
OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital announced today the opening of a Level II Cardiac Catheterization Lab meaning patients experiencing a heart attack can be treated locally rather than being transferred to another hospital.
The Level II designation allows physicians at OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital to not only diagnose but treat heart attacks using angioplasty and other interventions to restore blood flow to the heart, which improves patient outcomes and saves lives. The new Cardiac Cath Lab opened Oct. 11.
“For people having a heart attack, time is muscle, and the sooner you treat, the better your chances are,” said Armin Rahmanian, President of OhioHealth Dublin Methodist and OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital. “Having these capabilities is so important to the community, and to us at OhioHealth. It’s game-changing, and it’s life-changing, to allow someone’s heart to continue beating.”
Dublin Methodist previously was designated as a Level I Cath Lab, where blockages could be identified, and heart attacks diagnosed. When treating heart attacks, “the next, and most important step, is what to do about it, and we’re able to take that step now,” Rahmanian said.
The Cath Lab is staffed by three interventional cardiologists with 85 years’ experience among them. The specialists use procedures such as balloon angioplasty and stent placement to open blocked arteries and keep them open, and lithotripsy, which uses ultrasound waves to break up areas of calcification in the arteries. In addition, nurses, radiologic technologists and non-interventional cardiologists make up the team that delivers timely, efficient and leading-edge care in a convenient, patient-focused setting.
Prior to having the Level II Cath Lab in Dublin, emergency squads took patients with suspected heart attacks directly to OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital or transported them there after they were seen initially at Dublin Methodist.
“This new service will allow much quicker management of these patients. The quicker these procedures are done, the more heart muscle is saved,” said Douglas Van Fossen, MD, an interventional cardiologist and director of the new Cath Lab. “We need these services in proximity to where these events occur, and we need to provide services where patients are,” Van Fossen said.
In an event as stressful as a heart attack, not having to deal with traffic and navigate complex or unfamiliar parking can also save families from additional stress and allow them to focus on the care of their family member. “It’s something as simple as parking and finding your way around the facility,” Van Fossen said.
Rahmanian himself experienced the need when a family member who was having chest pains drove to Dublin Methodist but then needed to be transported to Riverside Methodist for interventional treatment. “The last thing a patient wants is to go to a Cath Lab, only to be told you need to go to another Cath Lab,” Rahmanian said.
The Dublin Methodist Cath Lab team has worked closely with local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers to coordinate a seamless, time-saving protocol for heart attack patients so that “the squad and the cardiologist are in a parallel process before the patient arrives,” Van Fossen said. “We want to eliminate serial processes so that ideally, the physician is waiting at the door when the patient is brought in.”
Van Fossen said he intends to build relationships with EMS crews by following up with them to provide updates on patient outcomes and receive feedback on how the process went from their end. Patients can receive follow-up care at Dublin Methodist, where they will see the same physicians who treated them in the Lab.
Having greater access to advanced heart intervention is important for busy, community-based EMS providers, says David Boehmer, DO, medical director of the Emergency Department at Dublin Methodist Hospital.
“EMS crews no longer have to drive past Dublin Methodist and leave the community to find appropriate care for a patient having a heart event,” said Boehmer. “That not only improves outcomes for that heart patient, it also gets the EMS crew back in service faster which may benefit the next patient in crisis.”
Boehmer also stressed how the hospital and EMS teams have been working together using “mock patients” to ensure the ED and Cath Lab teams are ready when a patient requires intervention.
“We’ve worked closely with our EMS teams not only to share information about our new interventional Lab, but have partnered on training with mock patients to ensure a quick and seamless patient handoff either in the Emergency Department or directly at the Cath Lab,” said Boehmer.
Rahmanian and Van Fossen said the hospital eventually will need a second Cath Lab so that one can be used for imaging and diagnosis and the other for interventions.
“It’s definitely an investment we want to make in the future,” Rahmanian said, and is integral to the hospital’s longer-term plans to treat higher acuity patients. “We are gearing up to care for a much sicker patient population. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s a commitment we are making to the community as OhioHealth works to continually improve and expand on the already comprehensive and outstanding care we provide residents of central Ohio.”