When every second matters
It’s just another day at the Fortis Hospital on Okhla Road, New Delhi. The doctors are doing their rounds, the Emergency wing has a steady flow of patients, friends and family hover restlessly in waiting areas. A visitor would never know that a minute ago, Mr. Chandra, a patient at the hospital, suffered a SegmenT Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) — or simply put, a severe heart attack. A blocked coronary artery has stopped the flow of blood through old Mr. Chandra’s heart and with every passing second, his heart muscle is dying.
Thankfully, a minute ago too, Code STEMI was activated by an alert medical staffer. This alarm system is, at this very moment, calling every expert required to save Mr. Chandra’s life. It is relentlessly and simultaneously phoning and messaging, cardiologists, anesthetist, cath lab experts, administrators, nurses and technicians to ensure that they rush to the dying man’s assistance.
Within the next few minutes, Mr Chandra will be moved to the Cath Lab, where doctors will assess the damage to the heart tissue and ensure that blood starts flowing through his heart again through medication, a cardiac catheterization or, if need be, an open heart surgery.
Medical standards dictate that it should take no more than 90 minutes for a hospital to open the blocked coronary artery of such a patient. Fortis, with the help of Code STEMI, has managed this feat in just 30 minutes!
A reliable emergency solution
Fortis Healthcare, which runs a chain of specialty hospitals in India and abroad, has been using Knowlarity’s emergency response system (ERCC) for the last 4 years. The two emergency codes – Blue and STEMI – have helped the hospital save thousands of lives by efficiently summoning medical staff in times of crises.
A Code Blue emergency is a lot more urgent. This is typically when a patient has no pulse or is not breathing. International standards warrant that in such a case, the team must respond within 4 to 6 minutes to resuscitate the patient. Fortis, with Knowlarity’s Code Blue application, has been able meet that deadline.
How ERCC changed everything
Rajiv Gupta, Deputy Manager, Medical Operations, Fortis, was the one who brought ERCC on board. After a six-month trial period and a series of customizations to suit their needs, Fortis noticed a marked improvement in its emergency response time. That’s when he decided to take ERCC on board permanently.
“Since we got ERCC, the hospital has been able to bring down its error rate by 90%,” he says.
“Before ERCC, we found discrepancies in our emergency response system. Sometimes teams couldn’t reach the scene of emergency on time apparently because they didn’t receive the call, or they didn’t see the message on time, or they didn’t hear the phone ring, etc,” says Rajiv.
The ERCC log records every small detail. “It lets us know at what time the call was placed, how many times it called on a recipient’s phone, after how many rings it was answered, and if it was not answered, then why not,” says Rajiv.
As of now, Fortis Healthcare has Knowlarity’s ERCC solution in two of its cardiac centers — in Delhi and Gurgaon — but the healthcare giant plans to replicate its success at other units across the country, says Rajiv.
“Having a credible system that allows us to respond on time during an emergency is very important for us. And because of Knowlarity, we are able to meet that deadline 99% of the times,” he says.