Published on July 14, 2010

Washington Adventist Hospital Awarded American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline Recognition for Heart Attack Care

Participation Demonstrates Commitment to High-Quality Care

Takoma Park, MD - Washington Adventist Hospital has earned the American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline Bronze Performance Achievement Award. This award recognizes the hospital's commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients that effectively improves the survival and care for patients experiencing the deadliest type of heart attack known as STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction).

Every year, almost 400,000 people experience a STEMI heart attack. Unfortunately, a significant number don't receive timely access to appropriate treatments. Washington Adventist Hospital and Mission: Lifeline are focused on improving the system of care for these patients and at the same time improving care for all heart attack patients.

The Mission: Lifeline Bronze Performance Achievement Award is granted to cardiac hospitals who have met the American Heart Associations' highest goals for quality care over at least 90 consecutive days. These goals include timeliness of diagnosis and intervention aimed at saving lives. It also includes guidelines for discharge promoting disease management and prevention of future cardiac events. For most patients this could include starting risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers in the hospital and receiving smoking cessation counseling.

"As a leader in cardiac care in the DC region, Washington Adventist Hospital continually strives to provide high-quality, compassionate care and the latest in life-saving treatments to our patients," said Joyce Portela, Senior Executive Officer at Washington Adventist Hospital. "Congratulations to our cardiac care and emergency teams for their good work."

The American Heart Association uses a 90-minute time frame as the standard for treating heart attack patients. This is also known as "door-to-balloon" time, referring to the period of time in which a patient arrives at the hospital to inflation of the balloon catheter to open the patient's blocked artery.

"At Washington Adventist Hospital we are committed to giving the best possible treatment to our patients suffering from heart attacks. We have achieved excellence in meeting the goal for door-to-balloon time," said Dr. David Brill, Medical Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Washington Adventist Hospital. "The saying, ‘time is muscle', means that the quicker we can open up a blocked off heart artery, the less damage there is for the patient. The high quality treatments we offer provide our patients with the best opportunity to have the safest and most complete recovery."

Earlier this year, Washington Adventist Hospital became the first hospital in the Washington DC region and only the second in Maryland to achieve accreditation as a Cycle III Chest Pain Center with PCI (percutaneous coronary 1 of 2 intervention, or angioplasty) from the Society of Chest Pain Centers. This achievement also recognizes the hospital's delivery of high-quality care to patients suffering from a heart attack.

Washington Adventist Hospital is a 281-bed acute-care facility located in Takoma Park, Maryland. Washington Adventist Hospital is Montgomery County's first cardiac center, performing more than 500 open-heart surgeries and more than 6,000 heart catheterizations each year. The Hospital is the first accredited Cycle III Chest Pain Center in the DC Metro Area. Washington Adventist Hospital is part of Adventist HealthCare, an integrated health-care delivery system based in Rockville, Maryland, that is one of the largest employers in the state of Maryland.

About Mission: Lifeline

The American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline program helps hospitals and emergency medical services develop systems of care that follow proven standards and procedures for STEMI patients. The program works by mobilizing teams across the continuum of care to implement American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology clinical treatment guidelines.