EMRMC receives Quality Award from Kentucky Hospital Association

Published 4:04 pm Friday, March 29, 2024

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Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center (EMRMC) has been recognized for the high quality of care given to its patients.  On March 13, EMRMC received the 2024 Kentucky Hospital Association (KHA) Quality Award. 

The KHA Quality Award is presented to honor hospital leadership and innovation in quality, safety and commitment in patient care. The award was presented to EMRMC for their efforts with post cardiac arrest and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) life support for those people with life-threatening illness or injury that affects the heart and lungs.

The EMRMC ECMO project came about to address overall low survival from cardiac arrest. In the United States, neurologically intact out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival is approximately 2.2%. Research has shown that ECMO performed in cardiac arrest by a dedicated team can yield neurologically intact survival of greater than 45%.  

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In January of 2023, EMRMC started the implementation process of our ECMO service line that included rigorous training by our ED and ICU providers, nursing staff and continuous education with our EMS providers. Ephraim’s is not the first ECMO program in the state of Kentucky.  However, uniquely due to our relatively small size for an ECMO program and 100% board-certified emergency physicians staffing the ED, we are the first hospital in the state of Kentucky to offer ED ECMO service 24/7.  This also makes us only the 14th hospital in the United States to offer this service with a 24/7 capability.

The result of these efforts have been exceptional. Since the initiation of this program, the EMRMC ECMO program has initiated ECMO on 17 patients with seven of those patients surviving to discharge or transfer, and four of those patients being alive and neurologically intact today.  All patients had essentially 0% survival if ECMO had not been available.  Most of these patients had been in cardiac arrest for greater than 60 minutes.  

“We are extremely proud of the work that our providers and associates have done with improving the overall cardiac survival rate within our community,” said Jason Dean, Ephraim McDowell Health Chief Quality Officer and EMRMC Administrator. “This has truly been a team effort and means that our patients are receiving the type of care to provide them with the best lifesaving outcome possible.”