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Published on June 26, 2013

Mercy achieves elite milestone - four years of
“perfect heart attack care”

Mercy Medical Center has achieved elite status among healthcare organizations, with a system that saves lives and crucial time in treating heart attack patients. For four consecutive years, Mercy is the area’s only hospital providing 100 percent of its cardiac patients with “Door to Balloon” times of less than the national standard of 90 minutes.

Mercy reached the four-year mark this month. Achieved by only a few hospitals in the nation, this milestone reflects the efficiency and coordination of Mercy’s Emergency Department, cardiovascular lab and other cardiac team members in handling cardiac emergencies.

Door-to-balloon time is a term coined by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) to describe the time it takes for physicians and hospital staff to recognize and treat a heart attack patient with balloon angioplasty, stents or both after the patient arrives at the hospital. The ACC recommends 90 minutes or less.

“Time is (heart) muscle,” explains Dr. Cam Campbell, Medical Director of Mercy’s Cardiovascular Services. “The quicker we can open up a blocked artery, the better the chance we have of saving the patient.”

Mercy’s team of healthcare providers has made it a priority to work seamlessly together to coordinate care and hone their response times into a finely-tuned, standardized process. Mercy’s “perfect heart attack care” results are noted on the CMS Hospital Compare website for procedure times under the national standard of 90 minutes.

A number of factors contributed to this accomplishment: strong physician leadership across several departments, area ambulance services activating cardiac alerts in the field and Mercy’s Emergency Department’s management of the process, according to Dr. Campbell. Campbell says staff and physician dedication to this initiative has been a major factor in achieving and sustaining this goal over the course of four years.

Mercy is recognizing its staff and physicians for this accomplishment with several planned activities throughout the month.

Learn more about Mercy’s excellence in cardiac care.

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