Heart Attack Team Earns Platinum Award Second Year in a Row

For immediate release: October 09, 2015

For the second year in a row, the Medical Center’s cardiology care teams have earned the Platinum Performance Achievement Award for sustained excellence in treating acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) patients.

The award is based on UMMC’s implementation of clinical guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, and associated with the National Cardiovascular Data Registry.

The award was earned as a result of collaboration across many teams at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) and in the community, including emergency medical services (EMS) first responders across the state and UMMC’s Emergency Department, Cardiac Catheterization Lab, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (Cardiac ICU) and Progressive Care Unit.

When treating a heart attack patient, time is of the utmost importance, said Jeanne Dailey, BS, RN. The longer the artery is blocked, the more damage is done to the heart. Because of this, the goal is to have a patient in the Cath Lab within 90 minutes of the first EKG reading that identifies a heart attack. There, the patient will have the blocked blood vessel “ballooned” open.

Groups such as ExpressCare and the Bridge Team are in place at UMMC to help meet this 90-minute “door-to-balloon” goal. The Bridge Team is a group of clinicians from the CCU who work during non-traditional business hours to prepare the Cath Lab when a patient is en route to the hospital for treatment of a heart attack. EMS providers in the community are often first on the scene for patients complaining of heart attack symptoms; they also play a critical role in helping patients get treated within that 90-minute window.

Clinicians in the Comprehensive Heart Center encourage patients to seek help earlier in the onset of their heart attack symptoms, as to help prevent any long-term damage.