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UAB Cardiovascular Institute Earns National Recognition for Efforts to Improve Cardiovascular Treatment

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Cardiovascular Institute has received two awards from the American Heart Association. UAB Hospital’s Heart Failure program won the Get With The Guidelines® - Heart Failure Gold with Honor Roll Quality Achievement Award for its commitment to quality management of heart failure in patients, and UAB Hospital’s STEMI program won the Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Center Silver Plus award for its implementation of quality care for severe heart attack patients.  

Get With The Guidelines® - Heart Failure Quality Achievement Award

With more than 6.5 million adults in the United States living with heart failure, many can live a full, enjoyable life when their condition is managed properly. The Get With The Guidelines® award recognizes UAB’s commitment to practicing evidence-based, best practice care for all heart failure patients with an end goal of reducing the number of hospital days and reducing hospital readmissions for heart failure patients. 

“Each of our team members wants the best possible outcome for our patients, and we want them to have the best quality of life possible,” said Allison Dillon, quality improvement R.N. “Although heart failure is a chronic condition, our goal is to ensure our patients can live the longest, healthiest lives possible.” 

At UAB, each heart failure patient works with a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, certified nurses, and other medical and surgical doctors within UAB’s faculty to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to each patient’s needs. UAB’s positive patient outcomes and commitment to providing the best possible care for each of its patients have played a large role in receiving this award. 

Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Center Silver Plus award

UAB’s ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction program received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Center Silver Plus Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures to treat patients who suffer from severe heart attacks.  

Every year, more than 250,000 people suffer from a STEMI heart attack, which is the deadliest type of heart attack and is caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart. This type of heart attack requires timely treatment to prevent major damage to the heart.  

“Through our program, we take the necessary steps to reduce barriers to prompt treatment,” said Melesia Goolsby, R.N., MSN, quality improvement coordinator at UAB’s Heart and Vascular Center Adult Cardiac Catheterization Lab. “Time is muscle when it comes to the heart, so we decided to start the clock at the first medical contact the patient has with paramedics on the scene. This allows us to be more efficient and reduce our treatment times substantially.” 

When EMS arrives on the scene, they perform an electrocardiogram, which records the electrical signal from the heart and allows health care personnel to diagnose a heart attack. EMS sends the EKG results to UAB’s emergency department, so the doctors can begin preparing the exam room for the patient’s procedure. This process has reduced UAB’s average door-to-procedure time by more than 50 percent and has played a large role in the hospital’s receiving this award.

“We really appreciate all the physicians, advanced practice providers and supporting staff who played a role in UAB receiving these awards,” said Robert Holmes, director of the Office of Regulatory Services at UAB Hospital. “It is such an honor to be recognized by the American Heart Association for our dedication to helping our patients have the best possible quality of life after experiencing a cardiovascular event.” 

For more information about UAB’s cardiovascular programs, visit uabmedicine.org/heart

Article provided by UAB News.