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Monday, September 8, 2014

Franciscan St. Francis Health earns ‘Silver Plus’ for heart attack care

INDIANAPOLIS – Franciscan St. Francis Health has received the Mission: Lifeline® Silver Plus Receiving 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.

Each year in the United States, approximately 250,000 people have a STEMI, or ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to immediately restore blood flow, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.

The Lifeline program helps hospitals, emergency medical services and communities improve response times so people who suffer from a STEMI receive prompt, appropriate treatment. The program’s goal is to streamline systems of care to quickly get heart attack patients from the first “911” call to hospital treatment.

“Our physicians, nurses, clinicians and support staff are dedicated to improving the quality of care for our patients who suffer a heart attack,” said William J. Berg, MD, medical director of Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care, and I am very proud of our team.”

“We commend Franciscan St. Francis Health for this achievement award, which reflects a significant institutional commitment to improve the quality of care for their heart attack patients,” said A. Gray Ellrodt, MD, chair of AHA’s Lifeline committee and chief of medicine at the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mass. “We must all continue this important work to streamline and coordinate regional systems of care to save lives and prevent complications.

Franciscan St. Francis earned the award by meeting specific criteria and standards of performance for the quick and appropriate treatment of STEMI patients to open the blocked artery.

Before patients are discharged, they are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, and they receive smoking cessation counseling if needed. Eligible hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period to receive the awards.