UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Cardiology Services and Cardiovascular Associates earns awards for heart care

UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Cardiology Services and Cardiovascular Associates earns awards for heart care

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UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Cardiology Services and Cardiovascular Associates (CVA) stand out as Siouxland's highest rated heart care team.

Within the past few months, the team has earned awards, recognition and accreditation for its cardiac services.

For patients, that means quality care when minutes count in saving heart muscle and improving their chances of survival.

For the first time, St. Luke's Cardiology Services and CVA received the American College of Cardiology's NCDR ACTION Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award for 2017. St. Luke's is one of only 193 hospitals nationwide and one of four in Iowa to receive the honor.

St. Luke's Cardiology Services and CVA also received the Mission: Lifeline Gold Receiving Quality Achievement Award and the Mission: Lifeline NSTEMI Silver Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks. In addition, the group is a regional leader in Mission: Lifeline STEMI guidelines and streamlining patient transport for PCI.

These awards recognize St. Luke's commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients. In addition, it signifies that St. Luke's has reached an aggressive goal of treating these patients to standard levels of care as outlined by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations.

"These awards relate to taking care of patients presenting with a myocardial infarction (heart attack) where the artery is completely closed off. The treatment is an emergent cardiac catheterization. We open the closed artery and put in a stent. The faster we get the artery open, it limits the damage to the heart and improves the chance for a positive outcome for the patient," said Dr. Jon Peacock, a cardiologist and medical director at CVA.

To achieve those goals, it's necessary to educate the public on when they need to go to the ER for heart attack symptoms. It's also important to educate and collaborate with paramedics and hospital staff about getting patients to the hospital in Sioux City quickly if they're from a surrounding community.

"We follow established guidelines to ensure we can get arteries opened as quickly as possible," Peacock said. “We encourage people to call 9-1-1 as soon as they have heart attack symptoms so we can get them the care they need.”

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the deadliest type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. 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.

To receive the ACTION Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award, St. Luke's has demonstrated sustained achievement in the ACTION Registry for eight consecutive quarters and has performed at the top level of standards for specific performance measures.

The American Heart Association Mission: Lifeline program goal is to reduce system barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks, beginning with the 9-1-1 call and continuing through hospital treatment. St. Luke's received the Gold Achievement Award for having an 85 percent composite adherence and at least 24 consecutive months of 75 percent or higher compliance on all Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Center quality measures to improve the quality of care for STEMI patients.

St. Luke's Cardiology Services door to balloon time is below the national average, meaning patients receive heart care faster because of their team's expertise.

In addition, once again, St. Luke's Cardiology Services has been awarded Triple Accreditation in vascular testing, nuclear cardiology and echocardiology through the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC).

"It means that cardiovascular providers take care of blockages in the legs, and neck and heart arteries. To do this, we have a vascular lab, nuclear lab and echo lab for evaluation of the heart. That involves medical technicians who are trained to do the testing. As cardiologists, we interpret tests and take care of the patient based on the results. We're the only lab within the Siouxland area that has this accreditation," he said.

"We keep up to date on our training and continuing medical education and follow the latest national guidelines. We have been accredited like this for a decade. We go through the process every two years. It establishes a high quality of care for the patient."

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