UNC Hospitals qualifies for American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Gold Level Performance Achievement Award for heart attack care

The award recognizes UNC Hospitals’ 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.

Media Contact:   Laura Melega, laura_melega@med.unc.edu, (919) 843-8217

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — UNC Hospitals recently qualified for the Gold Level Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association’s (AHA) 2012 Mission: Lifeline program. The award recognizes UNC Hospitals’ 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.

Every year, almost 250,000 people experience the STEMI type of heart attack – the deadliest type of heart attack. Unfortunately, a significant number don't receive prompt reperfusion therapy, which is critical in restoring blood flow. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. Mission: Lifeline is focusing on improving the system of care for these patients and at the same time improving care for all heart attack patients.

“We are extremely proud of the UNC team of Interventional Cardiologists, Emergency Department physicians, coronary intensive care unit nurses, staff in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, Performance Improvement staff, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel who earned this award through teamwork and their dedication to saving lives,” says Cam Patterson, M.D., Physician-in-Chief of the UNC Center for Heart and Vascular Care and Chief of the UNC Division of Cardiology.

Hospitals involved in Mission: Lifeline strive to improve care in both acute treatment measures and discharge measures. Systems of care are developed that close the gap of timely access to appropriate, life-saving treatments. Before they are discharged, patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers in the hospital and receive smoking cessation counseling.

Hospitals that receive the Mission: Lifeline Gold Performance Achievement Award have demonstrated for 24 consecutive months that at least 85 percent of eligible STEMI patients (without contraindications) are treated within specific time frames upon entering the hospital and discharged following the American Heart Association’s recommended treatment guidelines.

“UNC Hospitals is dedicated to making our cardiac unit among the best in the country, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by making it easier for our professionals to improve the outcomes of our cardiac patients,” said George A. Stouffer, M.D., Director of the UNC Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories and Interventional Cardiology.  “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care.”

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