Yuma, Arizona - Where it comes to cardiac emergencies, the sooner a patient is treated, the greater their chances for survival are. To that end, a recent upgrade completed by the City of Yuma could save lives.

The City’s Information Technology Services department, working with the Yuma Fire Department, recently upgraded the electrocardiogram heart monitoring system YFD uses to transmit information about incoming emergency heart patients to Yuma Regional Medical Center.

With the upgrade to the latest Philips Telemedicine system, electrocardiogram or EKG images are sent during YFD ambulance transport not only to YRMC’s Emergency Department, but also directly to cardiac catheterization laboratory physicians, resulting in potential time savings between YFD’s arrival and the time when the patient receives critical care.

“When a patient is experiencing heart problems and requires a procedure or surgery, we say ‘time is muscle,’” said Greg Titensor, Director of YRMC’s Cardiac Cath Lab. “When we reduce the ‘door to balloon time,’ or the time in which the patient is transported from the emergency room to the cath lab, we have a better chance of saving the heart muscle. Better coordinated communication between YFD and YRMC’s Cath Lab ultimately results in better care for our patients. We appreciate YFD’s partnership to implement this new technology.”

“Our personnel make the best use of our equipment and technology on hand. In this case, ITS was able to find an upgrade to allow for an enhancement in service,” said Fire Chief Steve Irr. “We appreciate the work the ITS department is doing to keep us on the cutting edge of technology and help us to best serve the citizens of Yuma.”

“This implementation not only allows the City of Yuma to utilize the latest infrastructure technologies for this system, but implements the latest medical industry software available to transmit via electronic software, resulting in the saving of lives,” said the City’s Director of Information Technology Services Jim Hamersley. “This is also just one example of how and why the City’s Information Technology Services department continually reviews technology infrastructure to improve how it supports the City’s systems.”