St. Luke’s Emergency & Transport Service (SLETS) recently received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Plus Award for implementing quality improvement measures in the treatment of patients who experience the most dangerous form of heart attacks.
Rodney Wolfe, Monroe County Operations Supervisor for SLETS, accepted the award during a presentation at the Pocono Township Municipal Building in Tannersville. Wolfe was joined by Don Seiple, President of St. Luke’s Monroe Campus, and Carol Kuplen, President of St. Luke’s-Bethlehem and Chief Nursing Officer.
This is the second year in a row that SLETS–which provides Basic and Advanced Life Support Emergency Medical Services to communities in Bucks, Lehigh and Monroe counties–is receiving an AHA Mission: Lifeline award.
Last year SLETS received the Bronze Award. This year, the EMS team achieved the Gold Plus Award for providing exceptional cardiac care to residents of the Lehigh Valley and the Poconos. The Gold Plus Award validates that SLETS team members maintain a high standard of care in recognizing, identifying and treating a pre-hospital cardiac event.
Agencies receiving the Mission: Lifeline Gold award have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for two years.
More than 250,000 people each year experience the deadliest type of heart attack–an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI)–which is caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart.
To prevent death, it is critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.
“We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care for all cardiac patients,” Wolfe said.
SLETS is dedicated to making its service among the best in the country, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping accomplish that by implementing processes and recognizing emergency medical services for improving systems of care with the goal of improving the quality of care for all acute coronary syndrome patients.
“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said James Jollis, M.D., Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Advisory Working Group. “Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can shave precious minutes of life-saving treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals. We applaud St. Luke’s Emergency & Transport Service for achieving this award that shows it meets evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”
Emergency Medical System providers are vital to the success of Mission: Lifeline.
EMS agencies perform 12-lead ECGs which measure the electrical activity of the heart and can help determine if a heart attack has occurred. They also follow protocols derived from American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines. These correct tools, training and practices allow EMS providers to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center, and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.
Note: This story was contributed in the form of a news release from St. Luke’s University Health Network. Its publication is part of a news partnership between Saucon Source and SLUHN.