GCMC accredited for acute heart care

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Geisinger Community Medical Center (GCMC) has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Heart Attack Receiving Center Accreditation. GCMC, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center (GWV) in Wilkes-Barre and Geisinger Medical Center in Danville have earned this accreditation for the second year in a row.

The accreditation program — sponsored by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SPCP) — recognizes centers that meet or exceed quality of care measures for people experiencing the most severe type of heart attack, ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), in which blood flow is completely blocked to a portion of the heart.

GCMC underwent numerous on-site reviews by accreditation specialists from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. Key areas in which GCMC demonstrated exceptional quality of care to receive accreditation include:

• Cardiac Cath Team level of expertise

• Cardiac Cath Team response to STEMI activation

• Door-to-balloon time — a measurement beginning with a patient’s arrival at the emergency department in cardiac crisis and ending when a catheter is surgically inserted to mitigate heart blockage

“Geisinger Community Medical Center is thoroughly committed to providing our patients the highest quality cardiac care centered on current scientific research,” said Alfred Casale, M.D., cardiovascular surgeon and chair of the Geisinger Heart & Vascular Institute. “The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Heart Attack Receiving Center Accreditation has highlighted our accomplishments and will improve the overall treatment and care for our patients.”

Last year GCMC earned the American Stroke Association’s Get with the Guidelines — Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite. Adding to the Stroke Gold Plus and Mission: Lifeline recognitions, Highmark, the country’s fourth-largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield-affiliated company, recognized Geisinger Health System as being among the best in patient safety and outcomes. GCMC and GWV were among the hospitals designated as a Blue Distinction Center+ for cardiac care.

Through its accreditation program, the American Heart Association hopes to significantly reduce cardiac death by teaching the public to recognize and react to early symptoms of a heart attack, reduce the time it takes to receive lifesaving treatment and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment administered.

The American Heart Association’s overall goal for Mission: Lifeline Heart Attack Receiving Center Accreditation is to significantly reduce cardiac death in patients by teaching the public to recognize and react to early symptoms of a heart attack, reduce the time it takes to receive life-saving treatment and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment administered.

As one of the nation’s largest health service organizations, Geisinger serves more than 3 million residents throughout 45 counties in Central, South Central and Northeast Pennsylvania and also in southern New Jersey at AtlantiCare, a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient. In 2017, the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine became the newest member of the Geisinger Family. The physician-led system is comprised of approximately 30,000 employees, including nearly 1,600 employed physicians, 12 hospital campuses, two research centers, and a 551,000-member health plan, all of which leverage an estimated $10.5 billion positive impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Visitgeisinger.org.

About the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline. Each year, hundreds of thousands of Americans have a type of heart attack known as ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), in which blood flow is completely blocked to a portion of the heart. Unless the blockage is eliminated quickly, the patient’s health and life are at serious risk. The American Heart Association launched Mission: Lifeline in 2007 to improve systems of care for patients suffering from STEMI by eliminating the obstacles that keep patients from accessing and receiving appropriate treatment.

Mission: Lifeline brings together healthcare resources into an efficient, synergic system to improve overall quality of care based on the latest scientific evidence and guidelines. It addresses the entire continuum of care for STEMI patients while preserving a role for the local hospital. While there is no one-size-fits all solution to efficiently treat STEMI patients, Mission: Lifeline develops protocols specific to the rural or urban area and provides recommendations for community level implementation of STEMI systems of care. The Mission: Lifeline ideal STEMI system of care is that all parties with a vested interest treating STEMI patients — from EMS providers to cardiologists, from hospital administrators to policymakers and from third-party payers to the public — share a common belief that quality and timely patient care is the top priority. Visitheart.org/missionlifeline.

About the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. The Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) is an international, nonprofit organization that focuses on transforming cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their efforts to create cardiovascular centers of excellence that deliver quality care and patient satisfaction in a cost sensitive environment. As the accreditation services arm of the American College of Cardiology, SCPC offers individual hospitals and hospital systems the support needed to effectively reduce variations of care and bridge existing gaps in treatment. Through its collaboration with actively engaged, multidisciplinary teams, SCPC is Taking Science to the Bedside and improving outcomes.

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