WASHINGTON, Mo. - Mercy is bringing advanced heart care close to home to save more lives, faster. Mercy Hospital Washington has opened a second cardiac catheterization lab to accommodate life-saving procedures and diagnostic tests and has more physicians to serve patients who need heart care services.
“Mercy Hospital and Mercy Clinic are working together to take heart care up a beat for patients of our community,” said Mercy Clinic cardiologist John Mohart, MD, medical director for specialty practices. “We’ve upgraded equipment, added physicians and expanded our facilities to offer complete heart care close to home.”
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in America. Sadly, many people don’t know they have heart disease until they have a heart attack. It’s important that someone experiencing symptoms – chest pain, arm or upper body discomfort, shortness of breath, nausea – call 911 rather than bring themselves to the hospital.
“The relationship we have with ambulance districts and the technologies we share allow us to get heart attack patients into the cath lab faster,” said Mercy Clinic cardiologist Joseph Moore, MD, chief of cardiology and director of the cath lab. “EMS can transmit EKGs to the cath lab team, and while patients are in transit, we’re preparing for their arrival.” On average, heart attack patients who come by ambulance are in the cath lab being treated within 39 minutes of arrival. If they don’t come by ambulance, the average is 71 minutes.
The cath lab is accredited for its quality standards by the Society of Chest Pain Centers. The accreditation was earned, in part, due to consistently low “door to balloon” times – the time it takes for patients to enter the hospital and be treated. Mercy Hospital Washington’s average door to balloon time is well below the national standard of 90 minutes and has been as low as 12 minutes. The additional cath lab will serve more patients, faster. “With two cath labs and more physicians, we’re better prepared to accommodate scheduled patients and emergencies. We can treat more patients at one time, day or night, and that saves lives,” Dr. Moore said.
With the expansion of facilities such as the cath lab and recent addition of Mercy Clinic cardiologists, more types of procedures are being performed locally, too. These procedures range from testing to opening blocked arteries in the arms, legs, abdomen and neck.
Mercy offers two interventional cardiologists – Drs. Joseph Moore and Michael Wood – and six general cardiologists in the region: Drs. Michal Beardsley, Deryk McDowell, John Mohart, Joseph Polizzi, Brian Seeck, and Timothy Schloss. They see patients at Mercy Hospital Washington and Mercy Clinic offices in Washington, Hermann, Sullivan, Eureka, Fenton and St. Louis. There are plans to expand to Owensville and Warrenton in the coming months. In addition, Mercy Clinic St. Louis has 27 cardiologists providing heart and vascular care and three thoracic surgeons with office hours in Washington.