NHRMC honored with American Heart Associate Mission: Lifeline Achievement Award

June 25, 2015
WILMINGTON, NC - New Hanover Regional Medical Center has received the 2015 Mission: Lifeline Gold Plus Receiving Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks.

“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, vice president of cardiac and clinical support services at NHRMC.

Each year in the United States, approximately 250,000 people have a STEMI, or ST-segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction, caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to immediately restore blood flow, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.

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 2014 medical contact to artery open time, meaning the time EMS arrives to the time the blocked artery is opened by stent or balloon, was 75 minutes. For a patient arriving at NHRMC, the medical contact to artery open time was 43 minutes.

The national standard for patients transferred from a referring hospital for medical contact to artery open time is 120 minutes. For a patient arrival at referral hospital, and then transferred to NHRMC, the medical contact to artery open time was 87 minutes.

“We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care, and I am very proud of our team,” said Parks.

The Mission: Lifeline Gold Plus Receiving award recognizes NHRMC for reaching an achievement score of 75 percent or greater for treating STEMI transfer patients within 120 minutes. NHRMC achieved overall Mission: Lifeline compliance criteria for two consecutive years with an 85 percent or greater composite score.

“We commend NHRMC for this achievement award, which reflects a significant institutional commitment to the highest quality of care for their heart attack patients,” said James G. Jollis, MD, chair of the Mission: Lifeline Advisory Working Group and president of the North Carolina chapter of the American College of Cardiology. “Achieving this award means the hospital has met specific reporting and achievement measures for the treatment of their patients who suffer heart attacks and we applaud them for their commitment to quality and timely care.”

NHRMC earned the award by meeting specific criteria and standards of performance for the quick and appropriate treatment of STEMI patients by providing emergency procedures to re-establish blood flow to blocked arteries when needed. Eligible hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period to receive the awards.

About NHRMC Heart Center:

New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Heart Center is home to 29 cardiologists and three cardiovascular surgeons who perform more than 550 surgical procedures and 12,000 diagnostic procedures each year. The NHRMC Heart Center is the only facility 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 and 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 www.nhrmc.org/heart.

About Mission: Lifeline

The 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 Foundation clinical treatment guidelines. For more information, visit www.heart.org/missionlifeline and www.heart.org/quality.