Continuous ischemia monitoring helps identify patients with acute, but often silent, myocardial ischemia. Evidence suggests nurses do not activate ischemia monitoring because they think it is difficult to use. ST-Map software incorporates graphic displays to make monitoring of ongoing ischemia easier.
To determine if nurses’ use of and attitude toward ischemia monitoring and the quality of patient care improve with use of ST-Map.
The study included 61 nurses and 202 patients with acute coronary syndrome in a cardiac intensive care unit. Baseline data on nurses’ use of and attitude toward ischemia monitoring and quality of care were obtained. Education was then provided and ST-Map software was installed on all monitors. Follow-up data were obtained 4 months later.
The percentage of nurses who had ever used ischemia monitoring was 13% before ST Map and 90% afterward (P < .001). The most common reason for not using ischemia monitoring before ST Map was inadequate knowledge (62%). The most common reason for liking ischemia monitoring after ST Map was knowing when a patient has ischemia (80%). Time to acquisition of a 12-lead electrocardiogram in response to symptoms or ST-segment changes was 5 to 15 minutes before ST Map and always less than 5 minutes afterward (P < .001). Time to return to the catheterization laboratory did not differ before and after ST Map.
ST Map was associated with more frequent use of ischemia monitoring, improved attitudes of nurses toward ischemia monitoring, and shorter time to obtaining 12-lead electrocardiograms.