Improving cardiovascular care, one download at a time

Mark Ebeling, RNMark Ebeling, RN, is a patient care person, not a tech person.

But he’s also the person behind a popular mobile app that is helping care providers have 24/7 access to the latest protocols and guidelines on treating heart attacks and other cardiovascular emergencies. The mobile app was made possible through a $10,000 Clinical Innovation Grant from the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation. Within a few months of its release in October 2016, it had already exceeded all expectations.

Ebeling, who is the patient care manager for the Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern Hospital Cardiac Level 1 Program, thought of the idea in 2016. He believed it would be a convenient way to get the latest heart attack treatment protocols and guidelines to the network of regional hospitals and providers who work closely with the Minneapolis Heart Institute® to care for their cardiovascular patients.

At that point, providers were relying on printed copies of this important information. They didn’t always have the most recent version on hand, or the information might be displayed in the Emergency Department, but not elsewhere in the hospital where it could be needed.

“When we started working on the mobile app, it was intended for a few hundred physicians and other providers around the region,” said Ebeling. Today, the app has been downloaded more than 4,000 times in seven countries. Since its release, it has been updated with additional diagnostic and treatment resources. It also includes call buttons so providers can speak directly with a cardiologist, schedule a stress test or make arrangements to transfer critically ill patients to Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

“This project never would have happened without the Clinical Innovation grant from the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation,” said Ebeling. “It’s hard to place a number on the value of this grant. It’s having a significant impact on the care that providers deliver and on patient outcomes.”