When a patient exhibits signs of ST segment elevation myocardial infarction, or STEMI, time is of the essence. It is the deadliest type of heart attack, resulting from a clot in the coronary artery.
Seton Healthcare Family’s vital role in treating heart attacks was recognized in June by the American Heart Association. For the first time, all four of Seton’s hospital which take STEMI patients received Mission Lifeline recognition awards for excellence in STEMI care.
The hospitals and their American Heart Association ratings are:
- Seton Medical Center Austin – Gold Plus
- Seton Medical Center Williamson – Silver Plus
- University Medical Center Brackenridge – Silver
- Seton Medical Center Hays – Silver
Mission Lifeline recognition is challenging to achieve and is a crucial step for hospitals to apply for and maintain accreditation as STEMI Receiving Centers with local emergency medical service (EMS) partners. STEMI Receiving Centers must meet standards of care, including opening the blocked artery causing a heart attack within 90 minutes of EMS reaching the patient.
Every aspect of care must be pre-planned, meticulously practiced and regularly reviewed by a broad clinical team for quality. Team members include local EMS partners, dispatch professionals, transfer center nurses, hospital supervisors as well as clinical teams in emergency departments and cardiac catheterization (cath) labs.
“We have made tremendous progress in the standardization of care for heart attack patients,” said Dr. O. Steven Gigliotti, Seton Heart Institute interventional cardiologist. “From patient assessment and transport to software that notifies the cath lab team to treatment protocols, every aspect of care has been pre-planned and meticulously practiced. And while we are very proud of our recognition, we continue to strive to improve and provide the best care possible.”
Seton shares data with the national database Action Registry which collects not only data on the speed of treatment but the entire patient care story, including pre-hospital treatment, specific drugs prescribed and referrals for cardiac rehab. The data fosters valuable research and aids in educating clinicians nationally.
Gold award recognition is achieved by demonstrating for 24 consecutive months that at least 85 percent of eligible STEMI patients were treated within 90 minutes and discharged following AHA’s recommended treatment guidelines. The Silver award is achieved by demonstrating the same achievements for 12 consecutive months. The Bronze award is for three straight months of meeting the criteria.
Two hospitals, Seton Austin and Seton Williamson, received “plus” designation, which is granted when STEMIs transferred from outlying hospitals meet performance standards as well. That means these hospitals’ plus awards were made possible due to dedicated efforts by the Seton Highland Lakes, Seton Northwest and Seton Southwest hospitals’ emergency departments.
“The recognition awards are a monumental team effort from so many players,” said Anne Robinson, Seton’s network STEMI coordinator. “All of our hospitals and EMS partners have exceptionally dedicated professionals that jump into action to rapidly treat heart attack patients. Every case is then reviewed after the fact to ensure that we continue to deliver Central Texas’ best heart attack care.”
All four hospital sites will be listed in the American Heart Association’s Mission Lifeline advertisement in the July print edition of US News & World Report’s 100 Best Hospitals in America.