Hospital Embraces Technology, Becomes A Place That Can Really Save Lives

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Just a few seconds could make the difference when it comes to saving the life of a heart attack patient.

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In one city in New Jersey you have a better chance of surviving cardiac arrest. Officials say it’s all because of a computer, CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported exclusively on Tuesday.

At the Jersey City Medical Center, every second counts when dispatchers send out paramedics and emergency medical technicians to save patients in cardiac arrest.

That is why the hospital is on a mission to reduce response times. It is using an advanced computer technology system called MARVLIS that looks back at call volumes historically to determine where the next emergency will happen.

Just think of a weather map.

“If you examine the area that looks like it’s raining the hardest hit right now, that’s actually the area the computer model is predicting the next call is going to occur,” said Robert Luckritz, Jersey City Medical Center’s director of EMS.

Based on that, emergency crews are strategically placed in the darker areas on the map, while other units cover the rest of the city.

Since implementing the system, the Jersey City Medical Center has been able to reduce response times from 8 minutes and 59 seconds, which is the national standard, to less than 6 minutes. Doctors say for patients in cardiac arrest that could mean the difference between life and death.

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“We noticed a significant increase in the number of patients that are cardiac arrest that actually get a pulse back, are able to have a chance when they came to the hospital,” the medical center’s Dr. Bill Wang said.

Before implementing the new system, 1 in 5 patients got a pulse back when treated by paramedics.

Now, it’s 1 in 2, which is why the medical center is proud when it looks at resuscitation numbers across the nation.

“We found that our data placed second to all cities that were studied,” Luckritz said.

And they’re hoping other hospitals in the Tri-State Area will sign up so that more lives can be saved.

Jersey City Medical Center officials said it will cost at least $250,000 for a hospital to start a program like theirs.

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