Cardiovascular disease is one of South Carolina's leading killers of both men and women in all racial and ethnic groups, claiming an average of 35 lives each day. Heart disease accounted for 54,675 hospitalizations in South Carolina during 2011, with a total hospitalization cost of more than $2.7 billion.
Stroke is the third largest killer in our state. 15.042people were treated for stroke in South Carolina hospitals in 2011, at a total cost of over $539 million.
South Carolina Heart Care Alliance
The South Carolina Heart and Stroke Care Alliance focuses on improving heart and stroke care in South Carolina, basing the work on three aims: creating an integrated system of regionalized acute cardiac and stroke care; improving pre-hospital care, interventional care, clinical outcomes and post discharge care for cardiovascular and stroke patients through implementation of evidenced based medicine and patient safety practices; and establishing a unified statewide data management system for tracking and analyzing key acute cardiac and stroke care indicators. Current clinical foci include STEMI, Stroke, Sudden Cardiac Death and Heart Failure.
South Carolina Mission: Lifeline
STEMI is a common and especially severe type of heart attack which carries a substantial risk of death or disability. It is caused by a prolonged period of blocked blood supply that affects a large area of the heart. It is estimated that approximately 28 percent of all heart attacks are STEMI.
In early 2007 the South Carolina Heart Care Alliance and South Carolina hospitals began to work on reducing the time it takes to get heart attack patients into treatment once they arrive at the emergency room. The recommended time is no more than 90 minutes. This is important because time saved equals heart muscle saved, which leads to better outcomes for the patient.
By 2011, South Carolina hospitals had reduced the average door-to-balloon time to 59 minutes. Our state now ranks third in the nation in percent of patients (97 percent) getting treatment within 90 minutes of arrival to the hospital.
The primary strategic aims for the South Carolina Mission: Lifeline program are to
- Create a regionalized system for STEMI care
- Establish one call cath lab activation system in each hospital
- Establish a unified statewide data management system for cardiac care indicators
- Establish common clinical performance goals and standards
- Provide a system for active learning and knowledge sharing
- Implement a unified public relations/awareness campaign
- Provide jointly sponsored educational programs
South Carolina Mission: Lifeline is a collaborative partnership including the South Carolina Hospital Association, South Carolina Chapter of American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, South Carolina Chapter of the College of Emergency Physicians, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Office of Emergency Medical Services, all 17 of the South Carolina hospitals that provide interventional cardiac services, Health Science South Carolina, Mothers Against Medical Error and PHT Services, Ltd. These partners host the Annual South Carolina Heart and Stroke Care Alliance Educational Forum which brings all of those involved in heart and stroke work together to learn how to improve their systems of care. The next annual Heart and Stroke Care Alliance Educational Forum will be held on November 19, 2013.
The following clinical topics are under development within the Heart and Stroke Care Alliance: Stroke, Sudden Cardiac Death and Heart Failure.