Hospital-to-hospital transfer times need work. In the November 2011 Heart Letter, we reported the good news that hospitals nationwide have substantially reduced the time it takes a heart attack sufferer to start getting artery-opening angioplasty after arriving at the emergency room.
But not all hospitals are equipped to do emergency angioplasty. In those situations, people having a heart attack are usually transferred via ambulance to a hospital that can. The news about how long a person waits between arriving at the first hospital and leaving in an ambulance for hospital No. 2 (so-called door-in-to-door-out time) isn't so heartening.