CEMC Nationally Recognized for Heart Failure and Heart Attack Treatment Achievements

Photo collage CarolinaEast Medical Center's heart team and heart surgerons
CarolinaEast Medical Center Heart surgeons and team

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has recognized CarolinaEast Medical Center for its demonstrated expertise in treating patients with heart failure and the American Heart Association has recognized CarolinaEast for its commitment to offering rapid, research-based care to people experiencing a heart attack.

CarolinaEast was awarded Heart Failure Accreditation based on rigorous onsite review of the staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients with heart failure through pre-hospital care, early stabilization, acute care, transitional care, clinical quality measures, and more.

Heart failure is a chronic and progressive condition where the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs for blood and oxygen. Hospitals that employ an evidence-based, protocol-driven, and systematic approach to managing heart failure have been able to reduce time to treatment and are able to identify and predict high-risk patients while also reducing length-of-stay and hospital readmissions.

“CarolinaEast Medical Center has demonstrated its commitment to providing Eastern North Carolina with excellent heart care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, FACC, chair of the ACC Accreditation Management Board. “ACC Accreditation Services is proud to award CarolinaEast with Heart Failure Accreditation.”

Hospitals receiving Heart Failure Accreditation from the ACC must take part in a multi-faceted clinical process that involves: completing a gap analysis; examining variances of care; developing an action plan; a rigorous onsite review; and monitoring for sustained success. Improved methods and strategies of caring for patients include streamlining processes, implementing guidelines and standards, and adopting best practices in the precise care of heart failure patients.

“The CarolinaEast Heart Failure Committee reviewed every facet of care given to our heart failure patients during our collaboration with the ACC to earn re-accreditation. This process mandated that we examine patient care beginning in the field with emergency medical services, continuing in the emergency department, observation, and inpatient units, and concluding with a safe transition back into the community,” said Angie Staebler, Heart Failure Coordinator and Wellness Coordinator at CarolinaEast Medical Center. “The committee included representation from medical, nursing, emergency medical services, quality, lab, pharmacy, informatics, dietary, and care coordination teams. This multidisciplinary group worked to improve processes within our health system with the shared goal of reducing the morbidity and mortality of our vulnerable heart failure patients throughout our community.”

CarolinaEast has also received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® STEMI Receiving Gold and Mission: Lifeline® NSTEMI Silver achievement awards for its commitment to offering rapid, research-based care to people experiencing a specific type of heart attack. CarolinaEast has been recognized for achievements for both ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) heart attacks, known to be more severe and dangerous than other types of heart attacks, and non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) heart attacks.

Photo of CarolinaEast and 4 award badges

Each year, more than 280,000 people in the U.S. experience a STEMI heart attack, caused by a complete blockage in a coronary artery, and more than 546,000 people experience a NSTEMI heart attack, caused by a partial blockage of blood flow to the heart. The Mission: Lifeline achievement awards are earned by hospitals that demonstrate a commitment to treating patients according to the most up-to-date research-based guidelines for STEMI and NSTEMI care as outlined by the American Heart Association.

“Care coordination is particularly important when someone experiences a STEMI or NSTEMI heart attack, and American Heart Association guidelines call for specific actions in the hospital and following a hospital stay,” said James G. Jollis, M.D., volunteer chair for the GWTG-CAD Systems of Care Advisory Work Group and professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine. “Hospitals like CarolinaEast are recognized for consistently supporting patients with science-based treatment and care coordination, ensuring the best opportunity for recovery.”

By Chelsea Robinson, Public Relations Specialist