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Palomar Health recognized as a national leader in the treatment of heart attack patients

The Palomar Health Heart and Vascular Center has been recognized by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology as a national leader for treating heart attack patients.

Palomar Health received the Mission: Lifeline Bronze Plus STEMI Recognition Award and NCDR ACTION Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award for implementing the highest standard of care for heart attack patients.

“These awards show Palomar Health provides the best patient care,” said Palomar Health Cardiac Catheterization Lab Director Mikhail Malek, M.D., FACC, FSCAI. “We deliver interventions to patients at the right time and send them home with optimum medication and follow up care.”

Palomar Health’s Heart and Vascular Center treated 166 of the most serious heart attack (STEMI) patients last year. All of the patients received treatment to open a blocked artery in less than 60 minutes, 33% faster than the nationally recommended standard of 90 minutes for door-to-balloon time. Opening the blocked artery as soon as possible greatly increases the patient’s chance for survival and a quick recovery.

Dr. Malek and his multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals have worked to implement evidence-based practices and a culture of continuous improvement. The team meets regularly and reviews every STEMI heart attack patient treated in the cardiac catheterization lab and identifies what worked well and what can be done better. Palomar Health reports all acute heart attack case data to the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association’s registries as part of the quality improvement process.

The awards also recognize Palomar Health’s superior continuum of care. According to Palomar Health’s Director of Cardiovascular Services Peter Petropoulos RN, JD, Palomar Health ensures each patient has received exceptional care and a treatment plan to provide the best outcome when they are sent home.

“We commend Palomar Health for this achievement award, which reflects a significant institutional commitment to the highest quality of care for their heart attack patients,” said James G. Jollis, MD, chairman of the Mission: Lifeline Advisory Working Group.

“By meeting the requirements set forth in the registry and establishing a culture of providing guideline-recommended therapy, Palomar Health is saving lives and improving outcomes of heart attack patients,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, FACC, Chair, ACTION Registry; Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart and Vascular Center; and Professor of Medicine, Harvard Business School.

In 2016, the Palomar Health Heart and Vascular Center treated 549 heart attack patients and performed 110 Coronary Artery By-Pass Graft surgeries. For the 166 STEMI patients the average time to receive treatment in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab when presenting to the Palomar Health Escondido Medical Center was 58 minutes.

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