NHRMC Receives Two American Heart Association Awards for Commitment to Quality Care for Heart Attack Patients

July 30, 2017

Silver NSTEMI_croppedMission Lifeline GOLD Receiving_croppedWILMINGTON, NC ― New Hanover Regional Medical Center has 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. 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.

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 the artery is 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 has 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 NHRMC Vice President of Regional and Specialty Services David Parks.

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), 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 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.

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

“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. “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 awards by meeting specific criteria and standards of performance for the quick recognition and treatment of STEMI and NSTEMI 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.

For more information on the services provided at the NHRMC Heart Center, visit www.nhrmc.org/heart.