Raritan Bay Medical Center Receives American Heart Association’s EMS Gold Plus Award

For the second consecutive year, Hackensack Meridian Health Raritan Bay Medical Center-Old Bridge and Raritan Bay Medical Center-Perth Amboy received the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.

Raritan Bay has been recognized with the EMS Gold Plus Award after demonstrating at least 75 percent compliance of each required measure over a three year span. “We are extremely proud of this recognition of our dedication and achievement in emergency medical care for all our cardiac patients,” said Scott Powers, MBA, NRP, director of Operations and MICU, Alert Ambulance Service, Inc. and Raritan Bay Medical Center. “The Mission: Lifeline program is helping us achieve our goal of making our emergency services among the best in the country.”  Raritan Bay has received annual recognition for its compliance with Mission: Lifeline quality improvement measures since 2014.

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the most deadly type of heart attack 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 or by providing clot-busting medication. Unfortunately, a significant number of STEMI patients don’t receive this prompt reperfusion therapy, which is critical in restoring blood flow.  Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate these patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. Its EMS recognition program recognizes emergency medical services for their efforts in improving systems of care and quality of life for these patients.

Emergency medical system providers are vital to the success of Mission: Lifeline.  EMS agencies, like Raritan Bay Medical Center’s, 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 AHA/American College of Cardiology guidelines. These 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 team members.

“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said Tim Henry, M.D., chair of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee. “Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can save precious minutes of treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals to an incoming heart attack patient. We applaud Raritan Bay Medical Center for achieving this award in following evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”

Hackensack Meridian Health’s JFK Emergency Medical Services and Hackensack University Medical Center’s Emergency Medical Services also received the AHA Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Award in 2018.  

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