Coronary care in New York City hospitals.
New York City, with six medical schools and an elaborate emergency medical system, would appear to be a locale with optimal resources for coronary care. To assess coronary care facilities and practices, a comprehensive questionnaire was prepared by a multidisciplinary committee and submitted to 72 hospitals. Seventy-nine percent (57/72) responded, including all medical school affiliated hospitals and 41 of the 45 with more than 300 beds. Twenty-nine percent (16/55) did not have a coronary care unit separate from a general intensive care unit. Thirty-three percent (18/55) of coronary care units were designed before 1970. Although 85% (46/54) of the coronary care units had a 1:2 registered nurse per patient ratio during days, only 43% (23/54) maintained this ratio at night. Central monitoring was available in all hospitals, but only 40% (21/52) indicated 24-hour continuous monitor observation. Forty-five percent (25/55) had cardiac catheterization facilities, and 43% (24/56) had an intra-aortic balloon available. Forty-six percent (26/57) of coronary care units transferred post-myocardial infarction patients to non-monitored general beds. Fifty-eight percent (31/53) offered dietary counseling to patients, and 33% (18/54) had an inpatient cardiac rehabilitation program. Thus, New York City hospitals demonstrate a marked variability in coronary care unit facilities and practices and a substantial number of hospitals deviate from published recommendations for coronary care units.
Berger, M; Friedman, HS; Gerber, LM; Greenberg, M; Levine, B; Mirsky, MB; Nacht, CH; Sheppard, C
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