New Initiative Reduces Wait Times for Cardiac Patients Awaiting Catheterization


For Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, the topic of heart disease hits close to home. Across the province, one in three people will be affected by the disease at some point in their lives. Given the statistics, if that person is not you, it is someone that you love.

Cardiac health is important, as is an efficient cardiac care system. The Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s is home to the only cardiac catheterization laboratory (cath lab) in the province. The cath lab performs close to 6,000 invasive cardiac diagnosis and interventional procedures each year.

Eastern Health physicians, nurses and staff care about patients. That’s why, when wait times for cardiac catheterization (also known as a dye test) were lengthy and inconsistent, Eastern Health entered into a partnership with Medtronic Integrated Health Solutions (IHS) to increase the cath lab capacity and optimize patient outcomes.

Together, representatives from Eastern Health and IHS clinical process improvement experts conducted an in-depth analysis of the cath lab’s workflow. A new strategy was launched in October 2018, consisting namely of staff schedule revisions and the creation of an on-call team.

Six months later, wait times for cath lab procedures have been reduced by 56 per cent across the province. Hospital stays for patients awaiting catheterization have declined; patients and their families are happier; and health-care professionals have regained a sense of pride in what they can accomplish for patients.

To quote Dr. Sean Connors, Clinical Chief of Eastern Health’s Cardiology Program: “We had the expertise, the equipment and committed staff, and now we have improved processes to deliver the best possible care to our patients.”

You can also view this video on Eastern Health’s YouTube page

For more information about the cardiac catheterization laboratory, please visit www.easternhealth.ca/CardiacCare. ■

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