For meeting national standards to help provide fast care and improve outcomes for heart attack patients, University of Virginia Health System has received an American College of Cardiology award.
UVA was recognized with the NCDR ACTION Registry-GWTG Platinum Performance Achievement Award for 2016. According to the American College of Cardiology, the award highlights UVA’s “commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients,” including patients who suffer a severe heart attack called a ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI).
To earn the award, UVA consistently met clinical guidelines and recommendations from the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association for treating heart attack patients, including:
Quickly opening the blocked artery that causes a heart attack Providing aspirin to patients when they arrive and leave the hospital Counseling patients on how to quit smoking Directing patients to cardiac rehabilitation programs Providing beta blockers, blood pressure medication and cholesterol-lowering statins when patients are released
UVA Heart & Vascular Center and emergency medicine staff credit the award to a team effort that includes local rescue squads, the Emergency Department, the Cardiac Catheterization lab and inpatient cardiology units. “What this award looks at is: Did you deliver defect-free care?” said David R. Burt, MD , an emergency medicine physician and director of the UVA Chest Pain Center.
Burt also highlighted the work of UVA’s quality improvement team to analyze data and identify areas where UVA’s team can enhance care. Recent efforts to improve care have included enhancing communication with rescue squads to bring heart attack patients directly to the Cardiac Catheterization lab for treatment as well as referring more patients to cardiac rehabilitation and a specialized post-heart attack clinic as part of their recovery.