St. Luke’s Boise and Meridian medical centers were recently recognized by the American Heart Association for work surrounding heart patients.
The medical centers received the Mission: Lifeline® Silver Receiving Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association (AHA). The award recognizes St. Luke’s for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the AHA for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks.
Each year in the United States, 250,000 people experience a severe heart attack (known as a STEMI, or ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction). A STEMI is caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart and requires immediate treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to immediately restore blood flow, either by opening the blocked vessel with a balloon and stent or by giving clot-busting medication.
“We could not have achieved American Heart Association recognition without dedicated professionals both within and outside our organization,” said Marshall Priest, M.D., cardiologist and executive medical director of St. Luke’s Heart. “Our STEMI teams at St. Luke’s are continuously improving treatment times and outcomes for our patients, working in partnership with local and regional emergency medical service agencies and transport providers.”
St. Luke’s Boise and Meridian also received the Mission: Lifeline’s Silver-Plus award, which recognizes hospitals who have an achievement score of 75 percent or greater for treating STEMI transfer patients within 120 minutes.
“We commend St. Luke’s 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, M.D., chair of the Mission: Lifeline Advisory Working Group and president of the North Carolina Chapter of the American College of Cardiology.
St. Luke’s earned the award by meeting specific criteria and standards of performance for the quick and appropriate treatment of STEMI patients through 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.
“In our most recent quarter, our median time for opening a blocked coronary artery is 43 minutes from the time the patient comes through our doors,” Dr. Priest said. “The Mission: Lifeline program is helping us achieve our goals through nationally respected guidelines.”
While most of the 865,000 heart attacks that occur each year are non-STEMI events, the AHA believes the Mission: Lifeline focus on improving the care of STEMI patients will ultimately improve care for all heart attack patients.
For more information about heart and vascular programs at St. Luke's, visit stlukesonline.org/heart.
The American Heart Association recognizes this hospital for achieving 85% or higher composite adherence to all Mission: Lifeline® STEMI Receiving Center Performance Achievement indicators for consecutive 12-month intervals, 75% or higher compliance on all Mission: Lifeline® STEMI Receiving Center quality measures, and First-Door-to-Device time of 120 minutes or less for transfers, to improve the quality of care for STEMI patients.
Anna Fritz is a writer and editor with St. Luke’s Communications and Marketing.