New Hanover Regional Medical Center recently received two awards from the American Heart Association “for its commitment and success in implementing specific quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who suffer heart attacks,” a news release stated.
The Mission: Lifeline Gold Receiving Quality Achievement Award and the Mission: Lifeline NSTEMI Silver Quality Achievement Award are based on achievements in cardiac care in 2016, according to the release.
The Mission: Lifeline Gold Receiving Quality Achievement Award is given to medical centers that provide quality and critical timely care to patients with severe heart attacks when their arteries are completely blocked. The Mission: Lifeline NSTEMI Silver Quality Achievement Award is given to medical centers that adhere to specific quality measures for treatment of patients with less severe heart attacks or a partial blockage.
This is the first year the AHA has recognized medical centers for the treatment of NSTEMI patients, and NHRMC received the highest level awarded.
“NHRMC is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our patients who suffer a heart attack, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that goal through nationally respected clinical guidelines,” said David Parks, NHRMC’s vice president of regional and specialty services.
More than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) every year. A STEMI is the deadliest type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment.
“To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication,” the release stated.
The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program’s goal is to reduce system barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks, beginning with the 9-1-1 call and continuing through hospital treatment.
The national standard for medical contact to artery open time is 90 minutes. NHRMC’s 2016 first medical contact to artery open time, meaning the time EMS arrives to the time the blocked artery is opened by stent or balloon, was 74 minutes. When a patient arrives at NHRMC, the medical contact to artery open time was 44 minutes.