University of Cincinnati Medical Center has received the 2018 Mission: Lifeline® Gold Plus Receiving Quality Achievement Award, and West Chester Hospital has received the 2018 Mission: Lifeline® Receiving Silver 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.
“The University of Cincinnati Heart, Lung & Vascular Institute is known for providing outstanding care to heart attack patients, and we are pleased that UC Medical Center and West Chester Hospital have again been recognized by the American Heart Association for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care,” said Saad Ahmad, MD, and Naseer Khan, MD, interventional cardiologists and assistant professors of medicine at UC College of Medicine.
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 is critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.
“Great care for our patients with heart attacks begins with timely emergency care. We are proud of our partnerships with our surrounding EMS divisions and providers. With their help, we are able to contact our cardiologists as early as possible to provide life-saving therapies,” said Jack Palmer, MD, and Sanjay Shewakramani, MD, who are the medical directors for the emergency departments at UC Medical Center and West Chester Hospital. Palmer is an assistant professor of emergency medicine at UC College of Medicine, and Shewakramani is an associate professor of emergency medicine.
The advanced medical care available at an academic medical center also helps UC Health care teams save lives in these situations, said Suzanne Bennett, MD, medical director of the Cardiovascular ICU at UC Medical Center.
“Some heart attack patients present with cardiac arrest and require a continuum of care in our cardiac ICU, which provides advanced therapies such as targeted temperature therapy and mechanical circulatory support devices. These treatments ultimately lead to improved survival and outcomes,” she said.
The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline STEMI Program is aimed at reducing system barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks, beginning with the 911 call, to EMS transport and continuing through hospital treatment and discharge. The initiative provides tools, training and other resources to support heart attack care following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines.
UC Medical Center and West Chester Hospital each earned the award by meeting specific criteria and standards of performance for quick and appropriate treatment through emergency procedures to re-establish blood flow to blocked arteries in heart attack patients coming into the hospital directly or by transfer from another facility. UC Medical Center has participated in Mission: Lifeline since 2007.
“We commend UC Medical Center and West Chester Hospital for this award in recognition for following evidence-based guidelines for timely heart attack treatment,” said Tim Henry, M.D., Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee. “We applaud the significant institutional commitment to their critical role in the system of care for quickly and appropriately treating heart attack patients.”