South Shore Health honored with two American Heart Association awards

South Shore Hospital and South Shore Emergency Medicine Services (EMS), both part of South Shore Health, have received two Mission: Lifeline®  Receiving Quality Achievement Awards, gold and silver respectively, for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks.

“South Shore Hospital has always been dedicated to improving quality of care for patients and this recognition is evidence of that, “said Anthony Marks, MD, chief of Cardiology and director of South Shore Hospital’s Catheterization Lab. “Working together with the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program helps us make sure that our patient care rises to the level of nationally respected clinical guidelines for heart attack treatment. We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care, and I am very proud of our team.”

This is the third straight year that South Shore Hospital received a Gold Award by the American Heart Association, and the first time that South Shore EMS received a Silver Award since taking over 911 services for the town of Weymouth, Mass.

“The entire South Shore EMS team is very proud of this accomplishment,” said Eugene Duffy, director of EMS at South Shore Health. “In just nine months of providing 911 services to the Town of Weymouth, our South Shore Health EMTs and paramedics responded to more than 500 cardiac disorder emergencies. Receiving this award proves our commitment to providing optimal care for heart attack patients.”

Every year, more than 250,000 people in the United States experience the deadliest type of heart attack (an ST elevation myocardial infarction, or STEMI), caused by a 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 through cardiac catheterization or by providing clot-busting medication.

The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program’s goal is to reduce system barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks, beginning with an emergency 9-1-1 call and continuing through hospital treatment.

South Shore Hospital and South Shore EMS earned their awards by meeting specific criteria and standards of performance for the quick and appropriate treatment of STEMI patients, including rapidly identifying suspected heart attack patients, promptly notifying the hospital and providing emergency procedures to re-establish blood flow to blocked arteries when needed.

Eligible hospitals and EMS teams must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period of time to receive the awards.

“We commend South Shore Hospital and South Shore EMS for this award in recognition for following evidence-based guidelines for timely heart treatment,” said Tim Henry, MD, 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.”