Norton Healthcare hospitals recognized with three awards for exceeding patient care standards in heart attack cases

Norton Healthcare hospitals recognized with three awards for exceeding patient care standards in heart attack cases

By Lynne Choate

Norton Healthcare hospitals were recognized today during a presentation by the American Heart Association with Mission: Lifeline Gold Plus and Gold awards for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.

The American Heart Association also presented Norton Healthcare with the Mission Lifeline: Regional Trailblazer Award. The award recognized Norton Healthcare for serving as a pioneer innovator in supporting hospitals in our region by helping them improve their processes when transferring STEMI patients, which leads to improved patient care and outcomes. Norton Healthcare is the only recipient of this award in Kentucky.

Gold awards are given for implementing specific quality improvement measures, and Gold Plus awards are given for meeting or exceeding those measures consecutively for two or more years.  Awards are given to hospitals that receive heart attack patients for treatment and to hospitals and other agencies that refer heart attack patients.

  • Norton Hospital received the Mission: Lifeline Receiving Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, the highest achievement given.
  • Norton Audubon and Norton Brownsboro hospitals both received Mission: Lifeline Receiving Gold Quality Achievement Awards.

Every year, more than 250,000 people nationally experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the deadliest type of heart attack, which is caused by a sudden, complete blockage of blood flow to the heart. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication. With every minute that passes, damage is caused to the heart.

The goal of the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is to reduce system barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks, beginning with the 9-1-1 call, to EMS transport and continuing through hospital treatment and discharge. The initiative provides tools, training and other resources to support heart attack care, following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines.

The three Norton Healthcare hospitals earned the award by meeting specific criteria and standards of performance for quick and appropriate treatment through emergency procedures to re-establish blood flow to blocked arteries in heart attack patients coming into the hospital directly or by transfer from another facility that does not have the life-saving treatment capability. Norton healthcare partners with these referring facilities to conduct drills and improve processes that lead to improved transport times for patients. This critical partnership was instrumental in Norton Healthcare receiving the Mission Lifeline: Trailblazer Award.

In the past year, Norton Audubon Hospital, Norton Brownsboro Hospital and Norton Hospital provided care to 439 patients who were experiencing a STEMI.

“Norton Healthcare and our affiliates are dedicated to providing the best possible care for heart attack patients,” said Russell F. Cox, president and chief executive officer, Norton Healthcare. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care through Mission: Lifeline and are honored to care for these patients who count on us to provide the advanced treatments they need.”

“We commend Norton Healthcare for achieving these awards in recognition for following evidence-based guidelines for timely heart attack treatment,” said Tim Henry, M.D., chair of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee. “We applaud the significant institutional commitment to their critical role in the system of care for quickly and appropriately treating heart attack patients.”