REDUCING DEATHS FROM HEART ATTACKS WITHOUT A SCIENTIFIC BREAKTHROUGH. Instapundit linked to this article by Gina Kolata in the New York Times (June 21) which reports on the reduction of about 38% from 2003 to 2013 in the death rate from coronary heart disease. One factor in the reduction is faster care for people who are having a heart attack.
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association had set a goal of opening a blocked artery for at least half of heart attack patients within 90 minutes of arrival at a hospital. The success of the drive for more rapid treatment is that now nearly all hospitals treat at least half their patients in 61 minutes or less. For example, at Yale-New Haven Hospital, where the median time for patients to have their arteries opened, was 150 minutes, the median time is now 57 minutes.
The improvements that were made to achieve faster care did not require any scientific breakthrough. Kolata gives as examples of the improvements: having paramedics do an EKG in the ambulance and transmit it directly to the hospital and using only one phone call to sound the beepers of the members of the heart attack team. Annalisa commented that the changes reminded her of the time and motion studies of the Gilbreths, the husband and wife team in CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN.