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Percutaneous Coronary Intervention

Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) encompasses a variety of procedures to treat patients with diseased arteries of the heart. Your heart's arteries can become blocked from a build up of cholesterol, cells or other substances. PCI is performed by guiding a slender balloon tipped tube (catheter) from a small puncture in an artery in the groin to the blockage in the artery in the heart.  The balloon is inflated inside the blockage widening the narrowed coronary artery so that blood can flow more easily. This is commonly called coronary angioplasty. Often a metal stent (tube) is inserted during this procedure and left in place to prop open the artery. 

Volume of PCI Procedures

What are we measuring?

The number of Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCIs) performed annually.

Why is this important

Studies by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines have demonstrated that hospitals which perform 400 or more PCI procedures per year or more are more likely to have better outcomes.

What is BIDMC's performance?

Source of comparison data: Smith SC Jr, Feldman TE, Hirshfeld JW Jr, Jacobs AK, Kern MJ, King SB III, Morrison DA, O'Neill WW, Schaff HV, Whitlow PL, Williams DO. ACC/AHA/SCAI 2005 guideline update for percutaneous coronary intervention: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines (ACC/AHA/SCAI Writing Committee to Update the 2001 Guidelines for Percutaneous Coronary Intervention). American College of Cardiology Web Site. Available at:

"Door to Balloon" Time for PCI

What are we measuring?

The percentage of heart attack patients undergoing PCI procedure within 90 minutes of arrival.

Why is this important?

Improving blood flow to your heart as quickly as possible lessens the damage to your heart muscle, and improves your chances of surviving a heart attack. The interval between the time the heart attack patient arrives at the hospital and blood flow is restored to the artery is called "Door to Balloon Time". The national benchmark is 90 minutes.

What is BIDMC's performance?

Source of comparison data: HospitalCompare, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 


Last Updated: October 24, 2011

Contact Information

Silverman Institute for Health Care Quality and Safety
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Ave
Boston, MA 02215