WILMINGTON — New Hanover Regional Medical Center has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® Gold Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the NHRMC Heart Center for its commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients that effectively improves the survival and care of STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction) patients. Only 25 hospitals in the country received this award in 2012.
Each year in the United States, nearly 300,000 people have a STEMI, the most severe form of heart attack. A STEMI occurs when a blood clot completely blocks an artery to the heart. To prevent death, it’s critical to immediately restore blood flow, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication. NHRMC’s Code STEMI program works with paramedics and hospitals throughout the region to identify when someone is having a STEMI heart attack so the emergency and cardiac team can be readied at NHRMC and the patient can quickly get to intervention in the cardiac catheterization lab. Getting a patient with a heart attack to treatment quickly is a high priority because when a heart attack begins, it’s only a matter of time before permanent damage is done to the heart muscles. The national benchmark for getting STEMI patients to intervention is 90 minutes. The average time for a patient at NHRMC’s Heart Center to go from arrival at the hospital to intervention in our Catheterization Lab is 42 minutes.
Hospitals involved in Mission: Lifeline are part of a system that makes sure STEMI patients get the right care they need, as quickly as possible. Mission: Lifeline focuses on improving the system of care for these patients and at the same time improving care for all heart attack patients. NHRMC was considered on nine quality measures, including whether eligible patients were given reperfusion therapy within the recommended time, whether patients were given aspirin on arrival, and whether patients who smoke were given smoking cessation counseling upon discharge. NHRMC was assigned a score on each of the measures and maintained a score of 85 percent or greater over a designated period of time in order to achieve the Gold Quality Achievement designation.
“New Hanover Regional Medical Center is committed to giving our patients the high quality care they need in the critical minutes after a heart attack,” said David Parks, vice president of cardiac services at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. “We work with a dedicated team of professionals, from our own physicians and staff to our partners throughout the region, who have worked together on standard protocols to ensure every patient gets the care they need when they need it. I am very proud of the achievements of this team.”About the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Heart CenterNew Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Heart Center is home to 29 cardiologists and 3 cardiovascular surgeons who perform more than 550 surgical procedures and 12,000 diagnostic procedures each year. The NHRMC Heart Center is the only hospital in Southeastern North Carolina to perform heart surgery and is among the state’s leaders in cardiac care. In recent years, the NHRMC Heart Center has received recognition for excellence from the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and was named a standout hospital for cardiology and heart surgery. For more information on the services provided at the NHRMC Heart Center, visit our Heart Center page.About Mission: LifelineThe American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program helps hospitals and emergency medical services develop systems of care that follow proven standards and procedures for STEMI patients. The program works by mobilizing teams across the continuum of care to implement American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology clinical treatment guidelines. For more information, visit heart.org/missionlifeline and heart.org/quality.
New Hanover Regional Medical Center is the leading provider of quality and accessible health care in Southeastern North Carolina, delivering care to all in need, without the support of taxpayer dollars. The medical center takes seriously its responsibility as an economic engine for the community, creating more than 5,000 jobs directly and another 6,000 jobs indirectly.