Primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) is the preferred treatment method for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Many efforts had been made to reduce door-to-balloon (DTB) time in patients with STEMI requiring an interhospital transfer. However, DTB time remains prolonged in most of the patients. The objective of this study is to demonstrate how intrahospital social media usage reduced DTB times in STEMI patients requiring an interhospital transfer.
We retrospectively collected data about patients with STEMI who had been transferred from other hospitals to the emergency department of China Medical University Hospital during 2016 and 2017. Patients were divided into two groups. The previewed group had an electrocardiogram (ECG) done at the first hospital that was previewed by the cardiologist via social media. The control group was treated using the conventional clinical approach. We compared patient characteristics, door-to-ECG time, DTB time, and outcome between two groups: patients treated using conventional clinical approach (n = 89) and those who had an electrocardiogram (ECG) done at the first hospital previewed by the cardiologist via social media before interhospital transfer (n = 51).
The two groups shared some similar clinical characteristics and overall outcome. However, the previewed group had significantly shorter DTB times than the control group (52.61 ± 42.20 versus 78.40 ± 50.64, P = 0.003). The time elapsed between ECG and the call to the laboratory decreased most apparently in the previewed group (−11.24 ± 48.81 versus 16.96 ± 33.08, P < 0.001). The previewed group also tended to have less in-hospital major adverse cardiovascular events (P = 0.091).
When the patients with STEMI required transfer to the PCI-capable hospital, using social media to preview ECG reduced DTB time, mainly because the cardiologists read the ECG via a social media platform before patients arrived; the cardiologists activated the catheter laboratories much earlier, sometimes even before the patients arrived at the PCI-capable hospital.