Forrest General honored with Mission: Lifeline quality achievement award
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – (June 24, 2014) Forrest General has received the Mission: Lifeline® Gold Plus Receiving Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks.
The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program helps hospitals, emergency medical services and communities improve response times so people who suffer from a STEMI receive prompt, appropriate treatment. The program’s goal is to streamline systems of care to quickly get heart attack patients to the hospital for treatment.
Forrest General earned the award by meeting specific criteria and standards of performance for the quick and appropriate treatment of STEMI patients to open the blocked artery. Before patients are discharged, they are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, and they receive smoking cessation counseling if needed. Eligible hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period to receive the awards.
“Forrest General is dedicated to providing world-class care for our patients who suffer a heart attack, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is supporting that goal through implementation of internationally respected clinical guidelines,” said Evan Dillard, president and CEO of Forrest Health. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care, and I am very proud of our team.”
Each year in the United States, approximately 250,000 people have a STEMI, or ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to immediately restore blood flow, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.
“We commend Forrest General for this achievement award, which reflects a significant institutional commitment to provide quality care for their heart attack patients,” said A. Gray Ellrodt, MD, chair of the Mission: Lifeline committee and chief of medicine at the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mass. “All too many heart attack patients in the United States still fail to receive appropriate treatment for their life-threatening condition within the recommended timeframes. We must all continue this important work to streamline and coordinate regional systems of care to save lives and prevent complications.”
Robert Wilkins, M.D., director of Forrest General’s STEMI system added, “STEMI heart attack care is a complex system of care which recognizes a collaborative effort from EMS, referral hospitals along with Forrest General’s cardiac team. This award recognizes the efforts and successes of every member of this regional team. I am also very proud of what we have accomplished.”
About Forrest General
Forrest General is the flagship hospital for Forrest Health and is a 512-bed facility located in Hattiesburg providing regional health services to a 19-county area. Forrest General provides excellence in health care through a wide range of nationally recognized services including: Cancer Center, Emergency and Trauma Services, Heart and Vascular Services, Home Care and Hospice, Hospitalist and Intensivist Programs, Neuroscience and Orthopedic Services including The Orthopedic Institute, Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services, Surgical Services, Wound Healing Center, and Women and Children’s Services. Forrest General is a Level II Trauma Center and provides all levels of care for critical access care hospitals in south Mississippi.
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 Foundation clinical treatment guidelines. For more information, visit heart.org/missionlifeline and heart.org/quality.