Emory hospitals awarded for lifesaving heart attack care

Woodruff Health Sciences Center | Sept. 29, 2017

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Jennifer Johnson McEwen
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Four Emory Healthcare hospitals have received a 2017 American Heart Association (AHA) award for quality improvement measures and timely care in patients experiencing a heart attack.

Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown and Emory Johns Creek Hospital have all received the 2017 Mission: Lifeline Gold Receiving Quality Achievement Award. Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital has received the 2017 Mission: Lifeline Silver Receiving Quality Achievement Award.

The goal of the AHA's Mission: Lifeline program is to reduce system barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks, beginning with the 9-1-1 call and continuing through hospital treatment. Every year, more than 250,000 people experience a STEMI (ST elevation myocardial infarction), 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.

"This achievement and our success begin in the field with our EMS partners, who first assess the patient and begin treatment," says Abhinav Goyal, MD, MHS, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Emory, and director of quality for cardiology across Emory Healthcare.

Goyal says that with EMS support, Emory hospitals are consistently achieving first medical contact to balloon times within 90 minutes, in 75 percent of STEMI patients for the designated months required.

A Gold Receiving Center award, which was received at three of Emory's hospitals, recognizes hospitals for achieving an 85 percent or greater overall composite score for all Mission: Lifeline STEMI quality achievement indicators, with no single quality measure below 75 percent, for consecutive 24-month intervals.

A Silver Receiving Center award recognizes hospitals for achieving an 85 percent or greater overall composite score for all Mission: Lifeline STEMI quality achievement indicators, with no measure below 75 percent, for consecutive 12-month intervals.

Other measures met to achieve a receiving center award include: heart attack patients received aspirin within 24 hours of hospital arrival, doctors prescribed aspirin and a beta blocker at the patient's discharge and patients who smoked received smoking cessation counseling by discharge.

"Emory remains steadfastly committed to advancing the quality of care for our patients who experience a heart attack. Mission Lifeline's lifesaving clinical guidelines play an important role in helping us meet and advance this goal," says Michael Ross, MD, professor of emergency medicine at Emory, and founder and past co-chair of the Atlanta Mission: Lifeline program.  

For more information on Mission: Lifeline, visit heart.org/missionlifeline and heart.org/quality.